Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez insists talks with Frank Lampard over a new contract have not been halted because his best days are behind him.
Benitez, in charge at Chelsea on an interim basis until the end of the season, said there was no doubt about "his condition, his levels, his quality" after reports emerged that the England midfielder was planning for life away from Stamford Bridge.
Lampard is out of contract at the end of the season and, although he would love to stay in West London, the opportunity to sign a pre-contract elsewhere will arrive in January.
"For sure, he's a fantastic player, a great professional - there's no doubt about this," said Benitez at a press conference ahead of the Club World Cup final against Corinthians.
"Also, when I talk to the people in charge, they are telling me the same, so nobody has any doubt about his condition, his levels, his quality.
"So the decision could be analysing different things, not just the quality of the player."
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Should Chelsea offer Frank Lampard a new contract?