Chelsea back Frank

Jose Mourinho's building at Chelsea continued last night as the club secured the long- term future of England midfielder Frank Lampard.

Frank Lampard

Jose Mourinho's building at Chelsea continued last night as the club secured the long- term future of England midfielder Frank Lampard.

Lampard has committed himself to Stamford Bridge for the next five years after reaching agreement on a new contract during the club's pre-season tour of the United States.

His decision is more good news for Mourinho, who last week completed the £30 million-plus signings of Didier Drogba and Tiago and persuaded Eidur Gudjohnsen to sign a new four-year deal.

Lampard had been in discussions with the club over a new deal since the end of last season.

The 26-year-old, one of the stars of England's 2004 campaign, declared in May he wanted his future resolved before beginning international commitments in Portugal.

It was reported soon after, however, that talks had broken down because of a claim by the player that he deserved parity with some of the Blues' top earners.

Lampard said he was happy agreement had now been reached.

He said: "I am really pleased to have agreed the new deal.

"I was always sure I wanted to stay and I was sure the club wanted me to stay. The talks have always been amicable and now it is settled we can all look forward to what should be a great season."

Lampard joined Chelsea in an £11 million move from West Ham three years ago.

He has since matured into one of the best midfielders in the country and was outstanding throughout last season, scoring 15 goals.

He forced his way into the England starting line-up in time for Euro 2004, where he again excelled, netting three times in England's run to the quarter-finals.

He returned to training this week, when he was named as the club's new vice-captain, and is now set for his first pre-season run-out in the second half against Celtic.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon said: "Frank is clearly a key part of Chelsea's future.

"His performances since he joined, especially last season and during Euro 2004, prove this.

"We always wanted him to sign and the only reason it took a while was because of the busy summer football-wise and the holidays.

"Now it is all signed we can look forward to five more great years with him."

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