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LAMPARD PREPARED TO WALK OUT ON CHELSEA,17033,8652_3800729,00.html

Frank Lampard remains determined to leave Chelsea unless the club agrees to his demand for a five-year, £140,000-a-week contract and is even prepared to exploit the Webster rule and risk walking away from the final year of his current deal, according to reports.

Chelsea remain adamant that Lampard will not leave, rejecting a £7.95m bid from Inter Milan for the midfielder yesterday. "The situation is ongoing," declared chief executive Peter Kenyon. "We have always maintained that we want Frank to stay and an offer was made to that effect. That offer is still on the table.

"Frank is under contract and he still has one year to run on that. We'd like to hope we can reach an agreement but if we can't we have always worked on the basis that Frank sees out the terms of his contract."

Yet their refusal to offer the 30-year-old Lampard a five-year deal has apparently opened up an irreparable breach, with The Times reporting that he is 'so disillusioned with his employers' reluctance to bend to his will that he has decided to follow Jose Mourinho to Inter Milan before the transfer window closes at the end of next month.'

While it has been previously speculated that Lampard would demand a move, the twist in the tale is the claim that he has received legal advice about the possibility of walking out of Stamford Bridge this summer. According to The Independent, Lampard has been told by his lawyers that 'it would be impossible for the club to hold him to the final year of his contract. It would then be up to Chelsea to try to recoup compensation for him from football's world governing body, Fifa. In what has turned into a bitter dispute over his future, Lampard's lawyers have investigated whether he should invoke the so-called "Webster Clause" - Article 17 of Fifa's rules - which effectively allows certain players to unilaterally terminate their contract with their present club.'

The Guardian also reports that Lampard has investigated the option of invoking the Webster clause, although it also points out that 'Under Article 17 of Fifa's regulations for the status and transfer of players, a player who signed a contract before the age of 28 is entitled to buy himself out of the contract three years after the deal was signed.

'Lampard is currently in that "unprotected" period though, technically, he should have served notice of any desire to leave Chelsea within 15 days of the final league game of last season. That would leave him open to "disciplinary measures" from Fifa, though he might consider that a risk worth taking. Webster was guilty of a similar breach, though it only cost him a ban for the first two weeks of the 2007-08 season, with the final compensation figure granted to Hearts on appeal at CAS for a player who earned around £250,000 a year only totalling some £150,000.'

Nonetheless, the disclosure that Lampard is considering such an extreme measure is an indication of how determined he is to leave the club. Chelsea's resolve to keep him is set to be put under greater over the next forty-eight hours with Inter expected to make an improved bid for his services.
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