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Chelsea boss Benitez wants Lampard to stay beyond January

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez has no plans to see Frank Lampard offloaded in January. The Mail on Sunday says though the breakdown in negotiations with the club over his contract has become public this week, Benitez has no involvement at present in those talks, given his status as interim manager.

But Benitez does envisage a major role for Lampard in his last five months at the club. The England midfielder has confirmed his quality to Benitez's coaching team in training sessions and is still reckoned to be the best passer of the ball among the midfielders.

Though he will not start two games in a week any more, Lampard is regarded as a crucial first-team player by the manager, which is a step up from his role under Roberto Di Matteo, with whom he was becoming increasingly marginalised.

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