The first major thing that has slipped out of Chelsea's new manager Rafa Benitez's mouth ever since he stepped into Roberto Di Matteo's shoes on Wednesday is perhaps his admission that the club's veterans Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole could leave the Blues at the end of the season.
Rafa Benitez, for coach of Liverpool, was on Wednesday named the new manager of Chelsea after team owner Roman Abramovich sacked Roberto Di Matteo, who led the team to FA Cup and Champions League wins.
Benitez told the Daily Mail that Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole would leave the club by the end of the season.
"I think so, that is the case at the moment. I am only here for seven months. If it is for two or three years then maybe I would have an influence. Sometimes you are in a difficult position as manager because there's too much to decide on, so it's better to have a technical director sometimes," Benitez told the Daily Mail when asked if the career of the duo at Chelsea could come to an end.
He went on to say that he has met Roman Abramovich and thinks describes as an understanding man.
"I spent two or three hours with the owner, we talked about everything. He knows my ideas, but we didn't have that much time together. Maybe we will in future. If you have confidence in yourself and explain yourself, everyone can understand. My impression with the owner is he's a nice person. You can talk with him and he understands. He likes to see you have a clear idea: I think it's black and white with him," he told the Daily Mail.
It was reported that Abramovich has asked the management to extend contract by only one year to players above 30 years of age, and Didier Drogba was one of the victims.
Midfielder Lampard is the third highest scorer for the club, helped the team win three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in his 11-year stint, but he is 34 years old. He has expressed his desire to end his career at the Stamford Bridge but is said to be considering offers from other clubs.
Left back Cole too has been one of the key players of the club ever since he joined in 2006 from Liverpool and was part of the team that won a league title and four FA Cups. He is 31 but still is considered as one of the best left back in the world. It is reported that Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United are interested in signing him if he leaves Chelsea.