It seems England footballer Frank Lampard's days at Chelsea are numbered with coach Roberto Di Matteo making it clear that the veteran midfielder should get use to warming the bench in the days to come.
The 34-year-old attacking midfielder has been rotated on a regular basis off late and didn't start the last three games for Chelsea, giving out a clear message that his role in the team is not the same anymore.
However, Roberto Di Matteo insisted that Lampard has been rested for a purpose.
"Frank is still a very important player. He's been so successful with this club and he will continue to be successful. I hope he will stay for the rest of his career. But at the back end of last season we had talks. With the amount of games we play, I tried to get the best out of him by probably not playing him in all of them, to make sure he could be ready for others," Daily Star quoted Di Matteo as saying.
Insisting that he will rotate players owing to lot of football to play this year, he said: "Frank is an intelligent man and I have a good relationship with him. Nobody likes to be on the bench, but I hope and think he understands. His attitude shows that he supports the team and that's important. I don't just want him to be fit for the business end of the season. It matters now, too."
Lampard is in the final year of his contract and has not signed an extension.
He moved from West Ham United to Chelsea in 2001 for £11 million and has been playing for the team since then. He is the club's third highest scorer of all time with 186 goals till date.