Chelsea hopeful over out-of-contract stars

Willian is one of the top Chelsea players out of contract in June

Coach Frank Lampard is determined to convince Chelsea's out-of-contract players to sign short-term extensions in order to see out the delayed English Premier League season at Stamford Bridge.

Willian and Olivier Giroud are among the big-name stars whose existing deals expire on June 30, but new rules introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic will allow them to strike mutual deals to complete the campaign.

Premier League clubs are meeting again this week to discuss the next stage of "Project Restart", with most Chelsea players expected to return to training at Cobham by the middle of next week.

Lampard told Chelsea's official website: "We have big players in that position so that's obviously something I'm looking at very carefully.

"It's going to have to be something we look at. Hopefully we can have that arrangement so they can stay with us because if we play again I would love the squad to look as it's looked all season, but we'll have to see how that works."

Lampard's squad is potentially on a tight schedule with June 12 still being mooted as a prospective return date and he insisted he would take the views of his players into account before returning to training.

He added: "It's been a job for us as staff to plan how phase one will look because it will be quite different due to the restrictions on how we can work.

"It's good for the players because they will be wanting to get back training in the right conditions; we know it's difficult circumstances for everyone so it's going to be a challenge to make sure that we get it right."