Frank Lampard has revealed that Chelsea released him because they feared he would not be able to get on with Cesc Fabregas, who they signed just days later.
It was announced on 3 June 2014 that Lampard would leave the club when his contract expired, while Fabregas arrived a mere nine days later from Barcelona in a £30 million move.
Lampard later returned to the Premier League for a brief stint on loan at Manchester City, with Chelsea not an option while Fabregas was also at Stamford Bridge due to a long-running feud.
Wrongly asked about his time playing alongside Fabregas at Chelsea, Lampard told BT Sport: ‘We never played together! They let me go to get Cesc in.
‘Me and Cesc never really got on well on the pitch so they didn’t think we could share a dressing room.’
Fabregas and Lampard’s feud is believed to stretch back to the 2007 Carling Cup final between Chelsea and the Spaniard’s then club Arsenal.
Kolo Toure and John Obi Mikel collided and squared up, and when Lampard confronted the Arsenal defender he was dragged away by his neck by Fabregas, starting a mass brawl.
They subsequently faced off 18 times across all competitions, often clashing, with Lampard notably leaving several bad tackles on Fabregas en route to Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in 2012.
Ahead of that face-off, Jack Wilshere had tweeted: ‘I think Cesc would love to score tonight… him and Lampard never liked each other on the pitch!’
More: Arsenal FC