Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez may have to cope with the loss of one of the club's most influential players as Frank Lampard has been linked with a move to Ligue 2 side Monaco.

The England midfielder has spent more than a decade at Chelsea and is the third highest goalscorer in the club's history with 189 goals in all competitions. However, with his contract expiring in the summer it seems he could yet finish his career away from Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard
Rafa Benitez may not be able to call upon Frank Lampard for much longer after being linked with a move to Monaco [Reuters]

Monaco boss Claudio Ranieri hopes he can be reunited with Lampard at Monaco as the famous French club attempt to gain promotion back to the top flight.

Lampard admitted that his time could be coming to an end when giving an interview last Thursday when Chelsea were playing in the Club World Cup in Japan.

"I've had a great, great time here. But maybe things don't last forever," said Lampard. "Although I want it to last forever you have to be big enough to know what it is."

With Lampard on the verge of leaving it seems Benitez has been tasked with the extremely difficult job of finding a suitable replacement, with the Mirror suggesting that Everton star Marouane Fellaini is the top target.

The Belgium international has been in sensational form for Everton this season and has already scored eight league goals to further highlight his potential as an all action midfielder.

His powerhouse performances are said to have caught the eye of Chelsea and, despite currently serving a three-match ban for headbutting Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross, he could be the subject of an offer in January.

A report in the Mirror suggests that Chelsea are prepared to make an offer in the region of £20million as they attempt to address their issues in midfield that have led to sides overrunning them in recent weeks.

West Ham's Mohamed Diame highlighted Chelsea's fragility when he came on at half-time to help the Hammers secure a 3-1 win and it seems Benitez is keen to strengthen his midfield in order to turn around their season.