Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. Picture: REUTERS/LEONHARD FOEGER
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. Picture: REUTERS/LEONHARD FOEGER

London — Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says he is hopeful players whose contracts expire in June will sign short-term deals and finish the Premier League season disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the novel coronavirus outbreak bringing world football to a standstill, global body Fifa in April recommended extending players’ contracts that are due to end in June.

The deals of Brazilian midfielder Willian and French forward Olivier Giroud expire on June 30 and Lampard wants to finish the season with all the resources he began it with as fourth-placed Chelsea look to seal a Champions League spot.

“We have big players in that position so that’s obviously something I’m looking at carefully,” he told the club’s website.

“The ones out of contract here have been great servants ... and have a lot of feeling for the club. But of course they’ll be concerned about themselves in terms of how they are now, and if preseason is rushed they’ll want to make sure they’re all right.

“Hopefully we can have that arrangement so they can stay with us because if we play again I would love the squad to look as it’s looked all season. But we’ll have to see how that works.

“Health and safety is the main thing, but we also have to think about the condition of the players in terms of injury and how we can try to move forward when we don’t really know the date of our next game,” Lampard said.

“The first steps will have to be very careful but all managers will be thinking a similar thing.”