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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Inter Milan end interest in Lampard

Inter Milan have given up on their bid to sign Frank Lampard from Chelsea this summer and the England midfielder now looks certain to stay at Stamford Bridge.

The Serie A champions, now bossed by former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, had attempted to lure Lampard to the San Siro.

But Chelsea flatly refused to sell Lampard, 30, and Inter have now called a halt to their summer spending spree after clinching a deal to sign midfielder Sulley Muntari from Portsmouth.

Muntari was announced as an Inter player today, and after adding the Ghanaian to their squad Inter have decided not to go back for Lampard.

Inter director Gabriele Oriali said: 'Muntari will be our last acquisition, now we must work on reducing the squad as coach Jose Mourinho wants 22 players and three goalkeepers.'

Mourinho said: 'I'm not disappointed by Lampard. The important thing for a player is to do what makes him happy. If his decision is to stay at Chelsea I accept that.'

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon recently ruled out allowing Lampard to go, stressing the club 'do not sell our best players'.

If Lampard resists attempts to persuade him to sign a new deal, Chelsea intend to keep him to the final year of his contract.

Mourinho last week admitted it would be 'easier' for Inter to wait until next year before moving for Lampard, who was an £11million signing by Chelsea from West Ham in 2001.

That remains an option Inter will surely consider, providing Mourinho remains in charge of the Italian giants and Lampard remains in contract limbo.

New Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has confirmed he intends to make Lampard as integral a member of the team as the England man was under Mourinho and Avram Grant, and has stressed the club 'needs' to keep the former Hammer in west London.

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