- Published on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:35
LONDON: Harry Redknapp reckons Chelsea will still offer veteran midfielder Frank Lampard a new deal this summer - because they would be mad to let him go, reported Daily Mirror.
Lampard, 34, is set to be out of contract at the end of the season after 12 years in blue and has been linked with clubs from Manchester United and Arsenal to LA Galaxy.
But before taking his Queens Park Rangers side to Stamford Bridge tonight, Redknapp insisted Lampard (pic) - his nephew - was impossible to replace and suggested Chelsea will see sense by the summer.
"I personally think they would be making a big mistake in letting Frank go," he said
Redknapp, who has been linked with a move for Lampard if Chelsea do move him on.
"We saw the other day, he's still a top top player. He scored two terrific goals at Everton (on Sunday).
"I don't think they can upgrade from Frank. Where are you going to find someone as good as him?
"I can't see him leaving. I would be surprised if he left Chelsea. I think his heart is at
Chelsea - the fans absolutely idolise him. He is an amazing goal-scoring midfielder, so I still think there is every chance that he will still be at Chelsea next year."
Redknapp said Lampard's dedication to his profession will prolong his career.
"I think the importance of age can be overstated," he said.
"I've said many times he is the best trainer I have ever seen in football, without a doubt. I saw him as a 16, 17 year-old - when all the other kids had gone home, he would be practising every day. I've never seen anyone even come close to him.
"He's still in great shape and has still got that desire. Frank just gets on with it. Every club needs players like that, but you can't put it into people, they have to want to do it."
After a humiliating weekend defeat to Liverpool which left them eight points from safety, the last thing QPR, the Premier League's bottom team, need is a local derby away to a Chelsea side who scored eight in their last home game.
"It's so difficult," said Redknapp. "If you open yourselves up you can get ripped up, can't you? Like Aston Villa did. We have to go and get a little pride back whatever else we do."
Chelsea have won their last four matches under Rafa Benitez but Redknapp said:В "He has walked into a squad of players there who are Champions League winners. You've got a chance, haven't you? You'd have to be a real dope to mess it up with that group of players."