By Tom J Doyle
Former Chelsea defender Graeme Le Saux believes Frank Lampard could still sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge, despite the club stalling on extending his contract.
The 34-year-old looks set to depart the Champions League holders after his agent Steve Kutner confirmed "in no circumstances" would the England international be offered a new deal by the club before his contract runs out.
Despite this, former Blues left-back Le Saux thinks a compromise can still be found between the player and club, labelling Lampard as "the most consistent player in English football" in recent years.
"I'm sure the club would want [Lampard] to stay and I'm sure he would want to stay but ultimately somewhere between the two there's a negotiation that has to happen," he told Goal.com.
"If it's not agreeable to either party then the reality is that he'll leave at the end of the season.
"I don't ever like to think these situations are over until you actually get to a point where a decision has been definitely made. From an outsider's point of view, there's business that can be done.
"It's just down to both parties to compromise enough to get something done, or accept that it's not going to happen and move on."
And Le Saux believes, regardless of what happens next in Lampard's career, he has been an integral part of the club's recent successes and still has a lot of experience to offer in the dressing room.
He continued: "Whether he leaves or stays, we should still be celebrating and enjoying what a phenomenal player he's been for Chelsea over the years, and that he's created a really iconic status at the club.
"He's played in every major [club] final available, and he's probably been the most consistent player in English football for a long time in terms of his amount of games and goals and his level of performance.
"I think his role as he's gotten older is having that responsibility with his leadership qualities; he will add a huge a huge amount to any dressing room, and when he stops playing he has a lot to offer in passing on that experience."
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The 44-year-old added: "Chelsea are playing well and the flair that they've got and they're more solid defensively now, I just think if they get the momentum they can really overwhelm their opponents.
"Away from home Swansea are very good at dictating the tempo, quieting down the crowd, frustrating the opponents and their goal-scorers don't need many chances to score."
Former Swansea defender and current Wales manager Chris Coleman meanwhile believes Michu will be integral to Michael Laudrup's side's hopes of reaching the final of the competition.
However, the Wales 42-year-old feels it will be difficult for Laudrup to hold onto the forward, as his 13 Premier League goals have attracted attention from Europe's top clubs.
"[Michu] will be key - he believes he'll score every time he walks on the pitch and that creates a confidence," Coleman told reporters.
"It won't be easy [to keep him]. Like it or not, if the big boys want you enough, they're going to pay the money and Swansea won't be able to say no to that. Everybody's for sale unfortunately - at a price.
"Certainly in this transfer window I don't see him leaving, but if he stays and produces next season, then the real danger will come when one of the bigger teams will probably want to take a chance on him."
Graeme Le Saux and Chris Coleman were talking ahead of this week’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg ties. Find out more about the competition at www.capitalonecup.co.uk or join the debate on the semi-finals on Twitter @CapitalOne_Cup using the hashtag #CapitalOneCup.