Inter transfer 'depends' on Lampard - Moratti
Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti claims it is now down to Frank Lampard whether he leaves Chelsea for the San Siro.
New Inter coach Jose Mourinho, Lampard's former boss at Stamford Bridge, has made no secret of the fact he would like the England midfielder in his squad and club director Gabriele Oriali claims the Chelsea man wants to join the Italian champions this summer.
Lampard is under contract with the west London club for another year and Chelsea have so far been adamant they will not sell him, despite being unable to convince him to sign a new deal.
While Moratti insists he will be delighted if Lampard opts for a move to the Serie A champions, he admits there is nothing more the Nerazzurri can do.
'We have made our offer to Chelsea, now it will depend on the player,' he said.
'He is an element we like, but more than this we cannot do. But we are strong and I am happy with what we have done in the transfer market until now.'
Oriali concurred when he spoke to Mediaset TV, but remains optimistic that a deal can be done: 'We have done everything that was in our means. We cannot certainly take him away from Chelsea by force.
'What is certain right now is that the player wants strongly to come to Inter,' added Oriali.
Lampard's possible move to Italy has been a major talking point in the country of late, but former Chelsea star Gianfranco Zola acknowledges the deal will not go ahead unless the Premier League side have a change of heart.
He said: 'If Chelsea have in their minds not to give way, Inter have no chance of signing Lampard, regardless of the player's wish.'
Meanwhile, Mourinho was full of praise for the England star during his interview with Ford's FeelFootball.com.
'Frank Lampard is a different kind of person, not so extroverted,' Mourinho said. 'He's the best professional I've ever worked with. He's the player who trains better, has more concentration, more commitment and is always focused on himself.
'He is never happy about his performance, always wants to improve, and always wants to learn.
'Lampard is incredibly professional. God gave players the talent, and some of them waste this. But some others make themselves better and these are the kind of the players who can last forever.'
Lampard has one year left on his contract and could invoke FIFA's Article 17 and buy himself out of the club. But that is likely to cause a major conflict with Chelsea, who expect him to honour the remaining 12 months of his deal if he refuses to sign the extension offer currently on the table.