Lampard to leave Bridge this summer
Transfer news: Frank Lampard will leave Chelsea when his contract expires in the summer, according to his agent, despite weekend reports suggesting Blues owner Roman Abramovich was considering bowing to fan pressure by offering the 34-year-old midfielder a new deal.
Lampard moved alongside Kerry Dixon as the Chelsea's all-time leading scorer on 193 goals when he converted a penalty in Chelsea's 5-1 FA Cup third-round victory at Southampton, prompting a chorus of 'sign him up' from the travelling support. But Lampard's agent Steve Kutner has seemingly dashed hopes that the England international will stay on at Stamford Bridge.
Kutner was quoted in the Daily Mirror as saying: "Chelsea executives told Frank in Japan during the Club World Cup then again reconfirmed with me after the Everton victory that in no circumstances will he be offered a new contract to stay at the club after the end of this season. Nothing since has changed in any respect.
"Frank has had to accept that and just wants to carry on playing football for Chelsea so as to finish the season as successfully as possible for the club that he loves."
Lampard has been linked with a move to Los Angeles Galaxy, following in David Beckham's footsteps, where he could link up with the Republic of Ireland's Robbie Keane.
Schalkeare open to allowing Lewis Holtby to join Tottenhamthis month, according to managing director Horst Heldt.
Spurs last week reached an agreement for the Germany midfielder to move to White Hart Lane when his contract with the Gelsenkirchen club expires in the summer. But Heldt said that could be brought forward if terms can be reached with Spurs.
Quoted in the Daily Mail, he said: "If Tottenham ask for Holtby in the January window, we will talk to them about it. Nothing has happened yet, but, from our point of view, we are prepared to speak to them. It would have to be done quickly, because we would have to find a replacement for him."
Napolipresident Aurelio De Laurentiis would prefer to see Mario Balotelli partner Edinson Cavani at the San Paolo than consider selling his star striker to Manchester City. The Uruguayan forward fired Napoli back into third place in the Serie A table courtesy of a fine hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Roma, furthering his reputation as the envy of a host of top European clubs by bringing up his 20th goal of the season.
De Laurentiis has admitted rejecting a €55 million offer for Cavani from an unnamed club in the summer but revealed the 25-year-old does have a €63 million release clause.
City striker Balotelli has been mentioned as a potential makeweight should the Barclays Premier League champions look to bolster their forward line with Cavani, but De Laurentiis has other ideas.
He told Gazzetta.it: "City are considering letting Balotelli go so they can move for Cavani? I would prefer to see Balotelli playing with Cavani here at Napoli. Teams tend to hold onto their best players in January. You take a big risk making big investments now. There is still time for us to bring in new faces but we must be cautious. On January 31st, you will see what moves Napoli have made."
Sunderlandhave agreed a fee with Turkish side Bursasporfor France Under-21 midfielder Alfred N'Diaye, Press Association Sport understands.
Black Cats officials flew to Turkey with an improved offer after their initial bid, said to be in the region of €2.5 million, was turned down.
Combative 21-year-old N'Diaye started his career with French club Nancy before moving to Bursaspor in July 2011.
N'Diaye is believed to be flying to the north east for a medical and to discuss personal terms. If confirmed, he will become boss Martin O'Neill's first signing of the January transfer window.