Jose Mourinho has refused to close the door on the possibility that Frank Lampard will return to Chelsea in the future with the midfielder currently starring for Manchester City.
Lampard often spoke of returning to Chelsea when he finished his playing career in a managerial sense, and after signing a two year contract with New York City FC it appeared he was going for one last big pay-check before retiring as he enters his late 30s.
But after some controversy surrounding his deal at New York the former England international joined City and has been integral to the side's push for the title this season.
And while Mourinho says he was left confused over Lampard's move to City, with Chelsea having offered for him to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond his exit, he doesn't believe the door is closed on the midfielder's time at the club.
"We opened the door for him to choose his future with us and we thought he was leaving to the States," Mouinho said, according to BBC Sport. "We thought a couple of years later he would come back to do what he wants. First-team coach, assistant manager, ambassador. For Frank we would find a new department for him to run, to do what he wants.
"Frank represents the club, what he did was amazing. We were surprised by his decision to go to Man City but he was a free agent, he can do what he wants with his career and the last thing I would do is criticise his career."
When asked if the door is closed on a future with Chelsea, Mourinho replied: "I don't know. I don't know. For sure he is one of the best I have ever managed. His career was based on an unbelievable number of goals from midfield. That made him a unique player."
The comments might come as somewhat of a shock to Chelsea fans who thought they had seen the last of Lampard in a Blues shirt. While he is pushing 37 now he still holds his own in the Premier League and would no doubt provide invaluable leadership to the west London side as they seek to win trophies under Mourinho for the second time.