Jose Mourinho has revealed both Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole were offered new contracts by Chelsea, but concedes their departure was probably the best for everyone.
The duo both left Stamford Bridge this summer, ending 13-year and eight-year associations with the club respectively.
But while fellow Blues veteran John Terry put pen to paper on a new one-year deal, it appears both Lampard and Cole took the decision to move to pastures new, with Mourinho admitting they could have extended their stays in west London.
‘They were [offered new deals],’ the Chelsea boss revealed.
‘We were in this process until the end, but you arrive into a moment [where you ask] what’s the best for the team? What’s the best for the other players? What’s the best for them?
‘Lampard and Ashley, they will be until the last day players to compete, to play every game, to be involved.
‘I think they are happier – in spite of their love for Chelsea – in this new situation for them.
‘The best way for competitive people like them to be happy, to enjoy the last part of their career, is to go and play.’