London, July 11 : Inter Milan's pursuit of Frank Lampard will continue with an improved bid of 10 million pounds for the England midfielder, despite Chelsea's insistence that he must see out the remaining year of his contract and remain at Stamford Bridge.
A personal eulogy for Lampard from Jose Mourinho, the Inter Milan manager, last night added to pressure on the midfielder to run down the remainder of his Chelsea contract.
Chelsea's position of expecting Lampard to honour the one-year left on his contract remained unchanged on Thursday although the overtures from Inter grew more intense.
The club are set to turn down a second bid -- having rejected last Tuesday's offer of 8 million pounds, but Mourinho's determination to work with the England star again was made manifest when he described him as the best professional he had worked with.
"Frank Lampard is a different kind of person, not so extrovert," he told Feel Football website in an interview recorded in May but approved by Mourinho for release this week.
"He is the best professional I have ever worked with. He's the player that trains better, has more concentration, more commitment and is always focused on himself," The Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
"He is never happy about his performance, always wants to improve, always wants to learn. If he makes a mistake, the next day in training he wants to stay one more hour to practice exactly that situation," Mourinho added.
"I remember he missed a goal once with a difficult left-foot volley and the next day he was there one hour after the training session practising that volley with the left foot," he said.
Lampard has continued his pre-season training this week while contemplating how to respond to Chelsea's intransigent refusal to offer him a five-year deal as opposed to the four-year package already tabled.
He is unlikely to back down and accept Chelsea's offer so he is left with the choice of whether to sign a pre-contract agreement with Inter before leaving for Italy on a Bosman free transfer next summer, or to invoke Article 17 of FIFA's regulations on player rulings - known sometimes as the 'Webster rule'.
Story first published: Friday, July 11, 2008, 16:46 [IST]
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