England boss warns midfielder that a move could harm international hopes, and also takes a swipe at Jose Mourinho
England head coach Fabio Capello has urged Frank Lampard to reject overtures from Inter Milan and see out his career with Chelsea.
In a candid and wide-ranging interview with an Italian newspaper, Capello also delivered a withering verdict on ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, hinted that former England captain David Beckham remained part of his long-term plans, and confirmed he will retire when his contract with the Football Association expires.
New Inter boss Mourinho is desperate to sign Lampard, who is at loggerheads with Stamford Bridge chiefs over a new contract. But Capello has warned the England midfielder that moving to Italy would be fraught with complications and could affect his international career.
“All experiences of life abroad are different,” said Capello. “In addition to a new team there are family issues. As England coach I would prefer it if he remained in England. He would have less travelling to do that way.”
Mourinho appears to be giving up on Lampard moving this summer, having turned his attention instead to Portsmouth’s Sulley Muntari, who is expected to complete a £12.7m move today.
Lampard could still join Mourinho at Inter next year, but Capello is not convinced the self-styled Special One coach will live up to his own billing in Serie A.
“Mourinho has nothing to teach our coaches,” he said. “In Italy football is very tactical. We have the most advanced coaches and there is little they do not know about the game. Mourinho has taken over a sensational club and I do not think he will do anything special. He will only need to change about one per cent.”
Beckham looked to have won his last cap when Capello dropped him from his first squad. But the 33-yearold has since been recalled, and the Italian hinted he would remain in the squad for the time being.
“Until he is unable to play at an international standard, he will play,” Capello said. Capello also clarified his own future, reiterating his desire to quit football after the 2012 European Championship, when his England contract ends.
However, the 62-year-old former Real Madrid, Roma and AC Milan coach has made the 2010 World Cup in South Africa his top target.
“I will see out my contract with England,” Capello told La Repubblica. “But my time in the dugout will end with the England experience. I would like to end my career having made an impact at a World Cup.”
While Lampard appears to be staying at Chelsea for another year, other arrivals and departures are expected at Stamford Bridge. Real Madrid winger Robinho remains a target, chief executive Peter Kenyon reiterated yesterday, while manager Luiz Felipe Scolari confirmed his admiration for the player.
Robinho is a great player, he plays for one of the best teams in the world and also Brazil,” said Scolari. “But at the moment it is not more than speculation.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea are assessing whether to send full-back Jose Bosingwa home from their tour of Asia after suffering a thigh strain on his debut.