Benitez expected Cole and Lampard to leave Chelsea

LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Newly appointed Chelsea FC manager Rafa Benitez expects midfielder Frank Lampard and full-back Ashley Cole to leave the club in the summer.

The England duo have been linked with moves away from the club and Benitez, who replaced the sacked Roberto Di Matteo earlier this week, doesn’t expect them to stay past the end of the season.

Lampard, who joined the club from West Ham United in 2001 has been linked with the MLS, while Cole is being linked with a move to PSG and Manchester United.

Asked if he believes the pair will leave Chelsea, Benitez said on SkySports: “I think so, that is the case at the moment.”

He added: “I am only here for seven months. If it is for two or three years then maybe I would have an influence.

“Sometimes you are in a difficult position as manager because there’s too much to decide on, so it’s better to have a technical director sometimes.”

Benitez, who was appointed to boss the side until the end of the season, will make his debut with the Blue against defending Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday.

Lampard has made over 570 appearances for Chelsea since he joined the club from West Ham United in 2001 and has been linked with moves to the MLS and China.

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