Lampard agrees one-year Chelsea contract extension

The England midfielder and Blues all-time leading goal scorer has rejected a move to LA Galaxy after finally agreeing a deal to stay at Stamford Bridge for one more season

By Greg Stobart

Frank Lampard has agreed a one-year contract to stay at Chelsea next season, Goal can confirm.

The Blues’ record goalscorer had been in a stand-off with the club for the last two years but has now agreed to stay at Stamford Bridge as he prepares to re-unite with former manager Jose Mourinho next season.

Lampard, whose existing deal expires this summer, was the subject of interest from clubs across the world and came close to joining MLS side LA Galaxy before Chelsea finally opened talks over a 12-month deal.

Those discussions have gathered pace in recent weeks and an agreement has now been reached, and an official announcement is expected before the end of the Premier League season on Sunday.

Chelsea supporters have made clear their desire for the 34-year-old to stay at the club after 12 years in west London during which he has scored 203 goals, overtaking Bobby Tambling’s scoring record in last Saturday’s win at Aston Villa.

The anticipated return of Mourinho is understood to have been a decisive factor in Lampard’s decision to sign a new deal, with the midfielder also expected to accept a pay cut.

The England international, who will captain Chelsea in Wednesday’s Europa League final against Benfica in Amsterdam due to John Terry’s injury, feared he was being driven out of the club.

But he has gone on to make 48 appearances for the Blues this term, scoring 17 goals, and forced the club into a re-think, just as they did when Ashley Cole signed a one-year extension in January.

Bayern will not bid for Rooney, claims Sammer

The 27-year-old shocked Manchester United with his desire to leave in the summer but the Bavarians’ sporting director is adamant that there are no plans to pursue the forward

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has rubbished reports of a possible summer move for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.
The wantaway forward has indicated his desire to leave Old Trafford in the summer and Arsenal and Chelsea are among those monitoring his availability.

Sammer, however, is adamant that links between his side and the England international are wide of the mark.

“There is no contact and he’s not on the agenda. No, no. Absolutely not,” the Roten official told reporters at Wembley.

“I don’t know what Rooney would bring to the Bundesliga. I can’t answer that. I can answer that we have great respect for Wayne Rooney but there has been no contact with him.”

David Moyes, who will take over management of Manchester United in the summer, is expected to hold talks with the former Toffees striker, whom he describes as “an exceptional talent”, over his future.

Robben: Why would I want to leave Bayern?

The Dutchman is said to have been deemed surplus to requirements by incoming Bavarian coach Pep Guardiola but the winger has rubbished reports of a move to the Etihad

Arjen Robben has dismissed speculation linking him with Manchester City, saying he has no desire to leave Bayern Munich.

It has been claimed that incoming Roten coach Pep Guardiola has already deemed the Netherlands international surplus to requirements, prompting further speculation that the winger could end up returning to England.

City are said to be interested, but Robben insists that there is no truth in the reports, which have come as a most unwelcome distraction for the former Chelsea star in the lead-up to this month’s Champions League final clash with Borussia Dortmund.

“I still have two years on my deal so why should I leave?” the 29-year-old asked reporters during a press conference on Tuesday. “It is all about performance on the pitch and in the past games I have shown I can contribute here at Bayern.

“There has been so much speculation in the past month but I am concentrated only on one thing and that is Bayern. All these rumours have come up way too often during recent weeks.

“We want to win the title on May 25 and that is the only thing that counts.”

Bayern are the favourites for the continental tournament decider, having routed Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate in the last four.

Consequently, Robben is in a bullish frame of mind ahead of the Bavarians’ Wembley showdown with Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund, who saw off Real Madrid in the last four.

“We want, and are expecting, to win the final,” he declared. “We will do everything we can to achieve that. We do not think we can lose this match.”

Robben, who has been capped 63 times by Netherlands, joined Bayern from Real Madrid in 2009.

Muller: Gotze deal adds extra spice to Champions League final

The 20-year-old playmaker is to move to the Allianz Arena, with die Roten having agreed to meet the Germany international’s €37 million buy-out clause

Thomas Muller has admitted that Borussia Dortmund starlet Mario Gotze joining Bayern Munich this summer has added extra spice to this month’s Champions League final.

The news that the attacking midfielder would be swapping Signal Iduna Park for the Allianz Arena would have intensified the rivalry between the two Bundesliga giants anyway, but the manner and timing of the announcement of the deal upset BVB greatly, given the news broke just before the first leg of their last-four encounter with Real Madrid.

Consequently, Muller feels that the Gotze transfer has made Bayern’s May 25 meeting with Dortmund at Wembley all the more interesting.

“I like Mario Gotze,” the 23-year-old told reporters on Tuesday. “I’m glad he’s coming to Bayern and it’ll add that bit more spice to the final.

“There is a lot of spice in this game and I like spice. I like that we play against Dortmund because there is even more passion in there.”

Muller knows, though, that the pressure is very much on Bayern, given they were upset by Chelsea in last year’s tournament decider – despite having had the advantage of playing at the Allianz Arena.

“It is about time we won this thing,” the Germany international acknowledged. “If we lost again we would have a loser’s tag on ourselves and it would not be an injustice.

“But, in truth, last year’s final or the one three years ago [against Inter] have nothing to do with this one. Except there are some players that were there, too.

“Of course it would have been amazing last year. But we are even stronger away from home this year and that makes me optimistic.”

Bayern beat Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate to progress to the final, while Dortmund beat Madrid 4-3 over two legs.

Higuain is no champion, warns Moggi

The ex-Bianconeri official wants the Turin club to sell Mirko Vucinic and has suggested that Alessandro Diamanti would be a great addition to their strikeforce

Former Juventus director Luciano Moggi has warned his former club against signing Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid and suggested that they consider selling Mirko Vucinic.

As Goal recently revealed, the Biaconeri have agreed terms “in principle” with Higuain, with the Argentine currently considering parting company with Real Madrid after six years at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, Moggi is set against the proposed deal, telling Radio Sportiva: “He’s good player but he has no a champion.”

Moggi also claimed that Juve can do without Vucinic, who has, for the most part, been the one constant in the Bianconeri attack this season.

“They have sold players given [Fernando] Llorente has already [effectively] arrived,” he argued, referring to the Spaniard’s summer move from Athletic Bilbao to Turin. “So they should continue to sell players that have been made redundant, maybe [even] Vucinic.”

Moggi believes that Juve will not have to look too far for replacements, arguing that they should bring in Italy international Alessandro Diamanti from Bologna and teenage sensation Domenico Berardi from Sassuolo.

“Diamanti has proven himself to be a player who decides games,” he enthused. “And also that he has the right DNA for Juve: he is a warrior.

“Obviously there is a need for a more competitive squad because the current players have been overworked.

“A publicly-listed football clubs must do be prudent, to comply with budgetary constraints and create value. But maybe [they should] take a young player like Berardi, just as they did with [midfielder Paul] Pogba.”

Moggi would also welcome the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with whom he enjoyed an excellent working relationship.

“Zlatan is the greatest guy in the world,” he enthused. “He never had a problem with me, partly because there was a very clear relationship between employer and employee.

“He’s a businesslike person. He adapts to the will of the employer on the assumption that they know how to handle things.”

Moggi parted company with Juventus in 2006 because of his involvement in the ‘Calciopoli‘ scandal.