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Benitez: Lampard and Ashley Cole likely to leave Chelsea

The recently-appointed interim Blues boss admits he is in the dark over the future of the experienced pair at Stamford Bridge, but doesn't expect them to remain long-term.

Rafael Benitez has admitted Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard are likely to leave Chelsea in the summer.

The experienced pair's contracts expire at the end of the season, with left back Cole linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain and Lampard rumored to be interesting Chinese and MLS teams.

Benitez claimed he was comfortable working under notoriously trigger-happy Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, praising the Russian's desire to win and admitting it would be easier working under the oligarch than George Gillett and Tom Hicks at Liverpool.

"The priority of the owner was whether I'm a good manager, a good coach, if the players understand me and if we'll be a winning team," he said. "He was very clear with that and happy with the things I've said. My impression of him was he's a nice person. You can talk with him and he understands and he likes to see you have clear ideas.

"I've had quite a lot of different owners, presidents and chairmen in my 26 years in football and they all liked to talk about football and find out what was going on.

"If you have confidence in yourself and can explain yourself, everyone can understand. But after the owners [Tom Hicks and George Gillett] we had at Anfield – they didn't love each other – this will be easier. I know who the person is in charge."

Fernando Torres is likely to start against Manchester City on Sunday, with speculation suggesting Benitez has been hired in order to get the best out of the former Liverpool striker.

"I don't need to talk too much to Fernando because he knows me and what I'm looking for," he said. "My idea isn't just to improve Fernando but the whole team.

"I can't just focus on him. But when I look at him I see a player with commitment and a desire to improve, just as I do when I look at the others."

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