Benitez: Lampard's team-mates must remain professional regarding his Blues future

The interim Chelsea manager has warned skipper John Terry not to let sentiment detract from performances for the Stamford Bridge club whilst the midfielder's future is sorted out

Rafael Benitez has told his Chelsea team to remain professional while the future of Frank Lampard awaits a resolution, fearing that otherwise it could distract the side from their upcoming fixtures, including a tricky FA Cup tie against Southampton.

This follows John Terry's public comment on a social networking side, pleading with Chelsea to retire the number eight shirt in honour of Frank Lampard, who has reportedly been told he will be allowed to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Benitez, however, has spoken of his surprise at the way Terry reacted.

The Spaniard told reporters: "Nobody was talking about this, we were just concentrating on the job [during yesterday’s training session].

"They will have their feelings but also, at the same time, they will manage the situation as professionals on the pitch.

"I didn’t know [about the message]. I was surprised when they told me but that’s it. We know that we have to manage the situations as they are coming."

The Chelsea midfielder, 34, is in his 12th year at Stamford Bridge since moving from London rivals West Ham in the summer of 2001. He has made 577 first-team appearances for the Blues in all competitions, scoring 192 goals and providing 130 assists.

However, future opportunities appear to be available for the England international, with a few different leagues keeping tabs on the Chelsea legend.