Chelseas veteran midfielder and club icon Frank Lampard could be set for a shock move to North London rivals Arsenal, according to a report in The Sunday Mirror.
Newly installed Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez had hinted when asked about the midfielders future last month that Lampard's time at Stamford Bridge was coming to an end;
I think so I don't have all the information and it's not fair to tell me I'm only here for seven months and then expect me to have an influence at the club over the next two or three years, but I think that's the case (Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard are leaving) at the moment.
(quote courtesy of The Guardian)
The 34-year-old England international is in the final year of his contract and would be able to secure a pre-contract agreement in January to sign for another club in the summer on a free transfer, or should interest be strong for a switch next month, Chelsea could be convinced into selling their long-serving player early.
Arsenal's recent drop in form saw Arsène Wengers side manage only 6 points in their last 5 league encounters, and the strict transfer policy set by the French manager is looking unlikely to be revised as the latter recently made his intentions over spending clear, declaring:
(quote courtesy of Sky Sports) Since Robin Van Persies departure to Manchester United in the summer, the consistency upfront has been lacking, and the injury list along with Olivier Girouds finishing made matters worse leaving Arsenal in 10th position. Santi Cazorlas ingenuity kept the Gunners believing earlier in the season, however, the player recently spoke of his frustration to Sky Sports after vital points were dropped due to the recent sloppy performances,
"We have to look for a solution from inside, and not look too much from outside. At the moment there is uncertainty among the fans, they do not have complete confidence we will win the game. Has it an influence on our performance? I don't know.
It's a little bit frustrating. We're a good team, good players, training well. But there are moments in those games when we don't know how to control them. Cazorla said.Wenger is believed to be questioning the lack of experience in his squad and reports are suggesting Frank Lampard could emerge as one of the candidates to bring some much needed attacking presence in the middle. The Gunners faithful would have probably been happier with stellar names but the willingness to experiment with experience and drop the philosophy of only signing youngsters should be seen as a positive. It is believed that Wenger has asked his staff to look for experience set to aid the development of younger talents such as Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Sunday Mirror suggests that Klass-Jan Huntelaar is also said to be on the North London clubs radar. The Dutchman has been in impressive form against Arsenal in the Champions league, and similarly with a contract running out in June, his current employers will be willing to consider offers in the New Year rather than parting company on the free. The Gunners' recent home defeat to Swansea has undeniably left Arsenals hopes of securing silverware in question once again but the interest in Huntelaar and Lampard comes as a shocking and exciting surprise for football fans all over. Could the exploits of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have led to Arsène Wengers change of policy? Could Girouds inconsistency have led to the Frenchmans re-evaluation? The prospects of seeing Lampard in red and Huntelaar as the new Dutchman would certainly be pleasing to the eyes of more than just Arsenal fans. What effect could the duo have on the spirits at the Emirates? Please feel to comment below.