Villas-Boas rubbishes talk of Lampard leaving Chelsea, but insists midfielder will continue to be rotated

Amid speculation of a bust-up, the 33-year-old, who scored his 150th league goal at the weekend, will continue to find his involvement limited according to his manager

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has dismissed speculation of Frank Lampard leaving the club, but backs his decision to rotate the veteran midfielder.

The 33-year-old admitted last week that his relationship with the Portuguese boss had become strained as the season progressed after being forced to play a more diminished role than he is used to.

Lampard scored his 150th Premier League goal at the weekend in the 3-0 win over Bolton, but Villas-Boas insists he will keep on rotating the veteran whilst rubbishing claims he could leave the team.

The Chelsea boss told Portugal’s TSF radio station: “Speculation on Lampard is normal, he is used to playing every match, he is one of the top five-six players in the Premier League in terms of minutes played this season.

“Perhaps he has been playing less than usual, but those are technical decisions that we make, according to what is best for the team.

“Frank represents a lot, and most of the times he has to be in the starting XI because he is one of the best players in the world, and one of the best players for the team, but other times we decided different and that is the way it will continue to be.”

The former Porto chief also claimed that it is Lampard’s ability as a team player and not his capacity for scoring that made him bring the midfielder on in the loss at Napoli and insists the player’s stats do not differ to that of any other campaign.

“I put Lampard on [against Napoli] because of what he gives to the team, not because of his goals," he added. "Frank has a unique timing in the world when it comes to entering the box, he scores goals, he always has in his career.

“His stats this season are not different from the other seasons. Because of strategic reasons, we have made other choices.

“Against Napoli we played with two midfielders in front of the defence and Mata as a No.10. Those are decisions to have to make before every game in terms of what we think is best for the team.”