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Nov 23, 2012

Benitez: Lampard and Cole will leave

Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are set to leave Chelsea in the summer, according to new boss Rafael Benitez.

• Preview: Chelsea v Man City
• Delaney: Benitez's plans for Chelsea
• Blog: What to expect from Rafa

The English pair have been linked with a move from Stamford Bridge since the pre-season, although Benitez believes he will only be involved in contract negotiations if his short-term contract is extended.

Lampard is rumoured to be in talks with a number of clubs in China - where he could play with or against former team-mates Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba - and the US, where the Los Angeles Galaxy are favourites for his signature.

Meanwhile, Cole has attracted interest from the big spending Paris Saint-Germain and Premier League rivals Manchester United who are believed to be keen on signing the 31-year-old on a one-year deal.

Benitez gave a swift response when asked if he believes both players will look for a move at the end of the season.

"I think so," he said in the Guardian. "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 at the moment."

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