Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole both left Chelsea this summer…
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Chelsea seemingly risked the wrath of the Stamford Bridge faithful when they allowed iconic pair Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole to leave on free transfers at the end of the last season.
But it now appears as if the club did attempt to retains them, with the Daily Star reporting that both players were in fact offered new contracts.
The Star claims that both players turned down the opportunity to stay with the club, with Lampard joining MLS franchise New York City, who are linked to Premier League champions Manchester City, and Cole moving to Italian side Roma.
“They were [offered new deals],” Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho revealed. “We were in this process until the end, but you arrive into a moment [where you ask] what’s the best for the team? What’s the best for the other players? What’s the best for them?
“And it depends also on their mentality. Lampard and Ashley, they will be until the last day players to compete, to play every game, to be involved. I think they are happier – in spite of their love for Chelsea – in this new situation for them.
“The best way for competitive people like them to be happy, to enjoy the last part of their career, is to go and play.”
Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer, having scored 211 goals for the Blues in 648 games, after joining from West Ham United in 2001. Cole made 338 appearances for the club after joining from Arsenal in 2006.