Premier League

Lampard hopeful over new deal

Europa League winners Chelsea and Lampard were rejuvenated under Benitez.
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Frank Lampard added a Europa League winner's medal to his collection and then spelt out his desire to finally sign a new deal at Chelsea.

Lampard has now won every domestic and European competition with the Blues following the dramatic 2-1 victory over Benfica at the Amsterdam ArenA.

At the turn of the year it seemed this would be Lampard's final year of a long spell at the west London club, but talks between the 34-year-old and the Stamford Bridge hierarchy have progressed well of late.

Reports had suggested that the midfielder, who last week became Chelsea's record goalscorer, had already agreed a new deal with the club.

The former West Ham midfielder said after the Europa League triumph that talks are ongoing, but he is hopeful that speculation regarding his future will be put to bed in the near future.

"We are talking and I really hope that we can get the right end to it because everyone knows that I want to stay here," Lampard said.

"The club have been brilliant."

Upon being asked when he thought negotiations would conclude, the England international said: "Soon, I hope."

Chelsea had hoped to mount a successful defense of their Champions League crown this season, but they were eliminated from the group stages.

The same Chelsea fans who goaded their Tottenham counterparts with "Thursday night, Channel Five" taunts earlier this season, were reveling in their victory, glad that the team had ended a rollercoaster season by adding more silverware to their trophy cabinet.

GLORY HUNTERS

Check out the best shots of the Europa League final from Amsterdam.

Although the Blues have enjoyed success in the Barclays Premier League since Roman Abramovich took over in 2003, this term they look set to finish third.

Lampard still thinks the club's season should be viewed as a success, though.

"It has been a great season for the club," he said. "It is huge (to win the Europa League).

"Last year was incredible. We had fought so many years to win the Champions League so that was an absolute stand-out night for us but this year you could feel the buzz in Amsterdam.

"We could tell that when we went for a walk earlier. You could hear the fans.

"We didn't want to go in to the Europa League. We wanted to stay in the Champions League this year but we have shown a great determination to win it from the moment that we have been in it and when you look back now, and you've got a full set (of domestic and European medals), it makes you very proud."

Given his history with Liverpool, many fans objected to the appointment of Rafael Benitez as the club's interim manager in November, but he has done well to steady the ship following a dip in form under Roberto Di Matteo.

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Lampard has found himself out of the team under Benitez at times this term, but he thinks the former Liverpool boss deserves credit for the work he has done.

"The fans back the players and the club, they want to see results and there won't be many out there with any qualms, they will be celebrating that win ... credit to the manager," Lampard said. "We have got our reward for hard work this season."

Branislav Ivanovic grabbed the glory for Chelsea, heading home the winner in the final minute of stoppage time after Oscar Cardozo had canceled out Fernando Torres' brilliant opener.

Lampard hailed the performance of the Serbia defender, who has been at the club since 2008.

"He has been an absolute professional. He is the sort of man that you want on your side," Lampard said.

"You only have to look at him to see what a beast he is as a man and as a player.

"He is a pleasure to play with. Out of all the players in our team, I think he deserves to score the winning goal most."

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