John Terry should be given new Chelsea contract, says Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard believes Chelsea should offer John Terry a new contract because he is still the best defender at the club.
Terry, 35, told reporters after last month's 5-1 victory over MK Dons in the FA Cup fourth round that he expects to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season after being informed that the club had declined to offer him a contract extension.
Chelsea subsequently insisted that "channels of dialogue" will remain open with Terry over his future, but after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United he revealed there has been no further contact between the two parties to resolve the situation.
"I would like to see them offer it," Lampard told Shortlist magazine when asked about Terry's contract situation. "I think it's obvious John wants it and I think he can still stay at Chelsea.
"Of course I'm friends with John, but purely from a football perspective and from what he's done on the pitch, and as a starting player in all their big and important games when he's started them this season, I think he's been their best defender this year."
Chelsea's defensive options are stretched with Kurt Zouma set to be sidelined for around six months with a serious knee injury, but Lampard believes Terry's contribution to Chelsea off the field is just as important.
"What John offers is a link with the fans and an appreciation of the young players who he would want to help come through," Lampard added.
"He's Mr. Chelsea. Those are the sorts of players you need at the club. Without telling the club what to do, I think Chelsea are looking to change the old nucleus we had, what with myself, Ashley [Cole], Didier [Drogba] and Petr [Cech] gone, John's almost the last one standing.
"But I don't think he's going to be an issue with that -- he'll even help the transition with helping the younger players. I don't think Chelsea will make decisions for the wrong reasons but if I was there, that's the message I'd be saying."
Another Chelsea legend, Gianfranco Zola, believes Terry will attract interest from clubs all over the world if he leaves Stamford Bridge after 18 trophy-laden years as a professional, and Lampard admits he would love to reunite with his former teammate at New York City FC.
"He's the best defender I ever played with, quite comfortably," Lampard added. "So if Chelsea let him go and John's sitting there, I'll get his plane ticket and get him over here."
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.