Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Mourinho Must Tie Down Key Expiring Contracts

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Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Mourinho Must Tie Down Key Expiring Contracts
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It's a familiar storyline to those at Stamford Bridge, but a nonetheless critical one: The contracts of Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and John Terry will come to their ends this summer.

Having spent a collective 34 years at Stamford Bridge, the three West London veterans have grown to become the crux of the Blues' squad, although all going through their periods of omission.

The close proximity of their contractual obligations to the club would strike fear among some, but Jose Mourinho has, however, revealed that he's not concerned about the matter.

BBC Sport have reported the Chelsea boss as saying:

It's a situation that doesn't worry me or the club and, I think, doesn't worry the players. Their desire to play for this club, nobody has doubts about it. Everything is very calm [and] at the end of the season, probably before that, the offer will be on the table.

There's nothing cryptic about the manager's message, seemingly confirming that there are most certainly futures for all three players in West London, but then most won't be convinced until the name is signed on the dotted line.

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This time last year, things were different. With Rafa Benitez then at the helm of the club, speculation was rife about Cole and Lampard in particular.

In contrast, 2013 has been far slower in terms of transfer rumours linking Chelsea's stalwarts with a move away from the club with which the best eras of their respective careers have been played out.

Mourinho goes on to say, per BBC Sport:

Probably last season was more complicated. John was not playing, Lampard was almost signing a contract with LA Galaxy and he was not also feeling important in the team. In this moment the situation is very, very clear. They trust the club, we trust the players. And, for sure, without conflict, the best decision for us and for them will be taken.

Despite having a combined age of 100, the pair have shown great stamina in their careers, Terry and Lampard having featured in all 15 of Chelsea's Premier League matches this season, 26 of which have been as starts, while Cole has played in a further nine.

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Of course, the finances are always an acute aspect of these matters, with players hoping to make the most possible in their twilight years, and wages are bound to be an important factor in whether extensions are agreed.

That being said, the club can feel comfortable in assuming their ageing stars will be able to produce the same quality on the pitch.

Given their continued strain of prominent placement in Mourinho's squad and no immediate replacements around for any of them, Lampard, Terry and Cole remain vital presences both on the pitch and in the Chelsea dressing room.

Lest the side find themselves falling short on morale and talent alike, it's best that Mourinho's assumptions are accurate and that the club are as eager as he seems to keep his stars around.

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