London: Chelsea denied Tuesday reports they were holding talks with Frank Lampard over a new contract.
The England midfielder's current Stamford Bridge deal expires at the end of the season and this has led to a flurry of speculation regarding the 34-year-old's future.
That intensified Tuesday when Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay was quoted as saying talks has begun with Lampard -- a move that would be welcomed by Chelsea fans frustrated the club's Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich has yet to offer the Blues hero a new contract.
However, Gourlay told Chelsea's website on Tuesday: "I am not prepared to discuss this at this time.
"Obviously, conversations must remain confidential between the club and the players at all times so that is as much as I can say."
Lampard has been a central figure at Chelsea for 12 years.
But that did not stop his agent, Steve Kutner, saying in January that both he and Lampard had been told by Chelsea that the player would "not be offered a contract under any circumstances".
In spite of the uncertainty, Lampard has again been in outstanding form for Chelsea, having already scored 13 goals in all competitions this season.
Now he is just one goal away from becoming only the second player to score 200 goals for Chelsea and just three shy of Bobby Tambling's club record.