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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Lampard agent lays down the law to Chelsea

Frank Lampard's agent believes the England midfielder has become 'indispensable' to Chelsea - and any new contract should reflect that.

Steve Kutner has admitted Lampard is aware of article 17 of Fifa's transfer regulations, under which players can unilaterally cancel their contracts after a `protected period' expires, if they pay `buy-out' compensation to their clubs, based on wages.

The three-year protection period on Lampard's current five-year deal runs out this summer, so he could theoretically leave then in exchange for two years' wages.

However Kutner told The Independent that his client wants to sign a new deal at Chelsea, and that as things stand, 'he's not intending to invoke the clause [article 17]'.

He added: 'We know about the rule, and I've talked to Peter Kenyon [Chelsea's chief executive] about what Frank's worth to Chelsea, and what he's worth to other clubs.

'The fact of the matter is that Frank's about as indispensable to Chelsea as anyone, not just creating goals and scoring them, but as a marketing icon. His shirt sales outstrip any other player by four to one.'

Scotland defender Andy Webster became the first player to invoke article 17 to move from Hearts to Wigan last summer.