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FC Augsburg
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Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
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Lampard dismisses MLS link

Frank Lampard has shrugged off reports he is set to exit Chelsea to join former England team-mate David Beckham at MLS side LA Galaxy, after the pair were photographed together at a recent match.

Lampard is entering the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge and has recently been linked with moves to the MLS and the Chinese Super League. Speculation was fuelled this week when Lampard and his agent Steve Kutner joined Beckham to watch the Galaxy go down to the Philadelphia Union, but the 34-year-old moved to play down exit fears.

"There's nothing in that at all," Lampard told the Sun. "I'm here in Los Angeles on holiday with Christine (Bleakley). We got engaged here last year and we love it over here.

"Steve's over here a lot on music and football business, he organised a box, so we could go to see the Galaxy game. Becks was suspended for the match, so he came and sat with us and we had a good laugh, that's all."

After missing England's Euro 2012 campaign due to injury, Lampard declared he will be "fit and fresh" for the Blues next term as they look to build on last season's Champions League triumph.

"Now I'm really looking forward to getting back to Chelsea. I'm feeling fit and fresh and I'm raring to go. My thigh strain is completely healed now and maybe missing the Euros was a blessing in disguise for me.

"I had a full summer off and I'm ready to go back to start the hard work for the new season. We've more to look forward to with the Super Cup and World Club Championships," he said.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo also backed Lampard to stay on at the club, hinting the midfielder may be offered a new contract beyond next season.

"Frank is a very fit man," Di Matteo told the Telegraph. "As long as he doesn't get injured he can play for many years. He's been very influential towards the end of the season. He made some key passes and he performed very well.

"At a certain age of course he will need a longer recovery time. I don't see any problems with him going on. The club will make the decision with Frank but certainly he'll be here next season."


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