Well so much for happy vibes on the Frank Lampard situation. Martin Lipton might be a terrible journalist and a worse writer, but he's not a liar, and when he says he's got quotes from Steve Kutner, the Chelsea legend's agent, confirming that the midfielder will not be offered a new contract, there's no reason not to believe that they're genuine, unlike the fake quotes that floated around last week.
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.
Kutner's wording reads like a side doing its utmost to paint the other party as evil and mean, and it's difficult not to sympathise with Lampard here. If Chelsea were willing to explore a reduced deal, that would be one thing. But apparently, they're not.
Now, part of me suspects that this is an agent trying to publicly shame the club into doing something, that Lampard's instructed him to find a way to stay no matter what. But I know when I'm just indulging in wishful thinking. I think giving Frank Lampard a lot of money would be dumb, of course. Alienating the fans and a club legend by refusing to even talk? Really, really, really dumb.