CHELSEA midfielder Frank Lampard has played down talk of a move to the Los Angeles Galaxy and pledged his future to the London club.
The 34-year-old, whose Blues contract expires next summer, sparked talk of a switch to the United States when he and agent Steve Kutner were pictured sitting with Galaxy midfielder David Beckham at a recent Major League Soccer match.
But Lampard said: “There’s nothing in that at all. I’m here in Los Angeles on holiday with Christine. We got engaged here last year and we love it over here.
“Steve’s over here a lot on music and football business. He organised a box so we could go to see the Galaxy game.
“Becks was suspended for the match, so he came and sat with us and we had a good laugh – that’s all.”
After missing England’s Euro 2012 campaign due to injury, Lampard cannot wait to get back to action with his club.
“Now I’m really looking forward to getting back to Chelsea,” he added. “I’m feeling fit and fresh and I’m raring to go.
“My thigh strain is completely healed now and maybe missing the Euros was a blessing in disguise for me.
“I had a full summer off and I’m ready to go back to start the hard work for the new season.”
Meanwhile new Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo expects a “buzzing” Fernando Torres to be raring to go when he returns to pre-season training - but warned the Euro 2012 Golden Boot winner there can be no guarantees of being the Blues’ number one striker.
The Spain striker came off the bench in the final, scoring one and setting up another in his side’s 4-0 win over Italy to help fire Vicente del Bosque’s Spain to their European crown.
The 28-year-old, signed from Liverpool in a £50m deal in January 2011, had launched an outburst at the Blues in the wake of their Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich, attacking his treatment by the club and threatening to quit.
However, Torres later backtracked, claiming he is now ready to fulfil his dreams with Chelsea after admitting he “lost hope” in his early days at Stamford Bridge.
Di Matteo maintained there was no lingering issues with the Spain forward, who scored three goals at Euro 2012, but insisted that despite the departure of Didier Drogba, Torres should not automatically expect to now be first choice.
“There is no concerns about Fernando at all,” said di Matteo, who was appointed to the Chelsea job on a permanent basis having taken over from Andre Villas-Boas and won the FA Cup before triumphing on penalties in Munich.
“I did have a chat with him the morning after the final, and have been in touch since as well.
“It (disappointment) was a feeling he had at the time, but I will continue to speak to the players.
“I am expecting him here in a good mood, to be buzzing and be very good next season.
Gianfranco Zola has been appointed as manager of Watford, the club have announced.
The 46-year-old Italian has signed a two-year deal at the npower Championship club after the Hornets’ new owners confirmed the sacking of Sean Dyche.
Zola, who previously coached the Italy Under-21 side, is best known for a seven-year spell as a player with Chelsea, when he established himself as one of the most talented and possibly the best loved foreign player to play in the Premier League.