Chelsea FC: Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole Heading for Chelsea Summer Exits?

Saura BhattacharjeeAnalyst IFebruary 23, 2012

NAPLES, ITALY - FEBRUARY 21:  (L -R) Chelsea substitutes Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel look on from the dugout during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between SSC Napoli and Chelsea FC at Stadio San Paolo on February 21, 2012 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are now the subject of transfer rumors.

Paris St-Germain is willing to take on Lampard, according to The Mirror.  As for Cole, The Sun reports that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wants to Cole out, and that the team will listen to offers for both Cole and Lampard in the summer.

If the reports are to be believed, then Chelsea is likely to see a massive exodus of older players come summer.

Ashley Cole could be heading the list of the players leaving, reportedly for openly criticizing manager Villas-Boas' tactics in recent weeks.

Villas-Boas has failed to gain control of the dressing room and has even accepted that several of his players do not accept his methods.

Rumours of player mutiny in the Chelsea dressing room has also been heard with Cole, Lampard and other senior players reportedly heading the group.

Frank Lampard, who is a crowd favourite and a club legend, has seemingly fallen out of favour under new manager Villas-Boas' regime. He has more than once publicly expressed his displeasure at not making regular first-team starts.

Though reports claimed that Lampard could make a move out in summer, the midfielder has stated his desire to play at Stamford Bridge. But his apparent lack of understanding with the manager could result in this season being his last in a Chelsea jersey.

Lampard, too, has been one of the several players who have questioned their manager's tactics and decisions this season.

According to the reports, Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich has been antagonized with their attempts to play down Villas-Boas, whom the billionaire owner had personally brought from Porto in a world-record fee.

According to the Sun, a club insider stated:

When the players question the manager, they are questioning the owner's judgment. Andre Villas-Boas was Mr Abramovich's personal choice. In the past, the senior players have sometimes got their way over an unpopular manager. This time, Mr Abramovich is fed up with their moaning.

Though Villas-Boas stated technical reasons for dropping Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard against Napoli in their Champions League fixture, it seemingly looks as a punishment for the duo who apparently expressed doubt on their manager's decisions and ability.

If the reports come true, it would go a long way in validating Villas-Boas' frequent statements of having the owner's full backing as well as helping him gain control of the dressing room, something he has seemingly failed to achieve until now.

Paris St. Germain's manager, Carlo Ancelotti, a former Blues' manager, has extended his offer to avail Lampard's services if the midfielder decides to move on or is forced out.

Lampard would only be one of the many senior players heading out from the West London club in the summer as Chelsea prepare to offload their aging squad and infuse young blood.