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Benitez: Cole and Lampard likely to leave in summer

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Michael Regan

Rafa Benitez isn't really bothering with the whole 'endearing himself to the fans' business at the moment. When asked about the futures of senior Chelsea players Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard, both of whose contracts expire at the end of the season, here's what the new manager had to say:

I think they will leave in the summer I don’t have all the information, but I think that’s the case at the moment.

Source: Mirror.

Obviously, Benitez is better connected to what Michael Emenalo and the board are thinking than basically anyone else right now, so he knows what he's talking about. It's a bit weird that this is the way we'd* get news on how the contract negotiations are going (i.e. not), but there've been recent signs that the two are on the way out, what is the Lampard to the LA Galaxy rumours and reports suggesting that Real Madrid are interested in acquiring Cole.

*I'm really hoping it's not how Lampard and Cole got the news, because that would be vile.

I'm not sure I'm very happy about this, but that's most because it's been a pretty unhappy week to be a Chelsea supporter, and seeing the further breakup of the Jose Mourinho team -- in slow motion, no less -- is pretty distressing. It makes some sense to move on, but, as with Didier Drogba last summer, that doesn't mean that this won't be painful.