John Terry has revealed his devastation at Frank Lampard's possible departure from Chelsea and called for his team-mate's jersey to be retired.
Lampard is out of contract at the end of the season and there has been no sign of the Blues offering him a new deal.
Friday morning saw club captain Terry post a picture of him and Lampard holding the FA Cup on his Instagram account accompanied by the comment: "Devastated is an understatement. We should retire the number 8 shirt in honour of Lamps. #theheartbeat #hero #legend #hero #goalmachine #friend #ktbffh (keep the blue flag flying high) #cfc #chelsea."
Press Association Sport understands Terry was reacting to quotes attributed to Lampard's agent, Steve Kutner, in the Italian media in which he reportedly said the midfielder would definitely be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer.
Kutner has since denied giving any such interview. However, barring a dramatic U-turn by Chelsea, Lampard will have to find himself a new club next season. He has most recently been linked with a move to Italy, with either Lazio or Inter Milan, while there have been constant rumours of a switch to Major League Soccer or a club in Asia.
Lampard last month appeared resigned to leaving Chelsea, saying: "Maybe things don't last forever."
The club's stance has upset and baffled many supporters for whom Lampard is one of the greatest players ever to pull on the jersey. Recent matches have seen them urge the board to "Sign him up", the 34-year-old responding by scoring three times in his last four games.
Those goals have taken him to within one of Kerry Dixon on the club's all-time list, with 192 in total, 10 adrift of record scorer Bobby Tambling. Lampard is also closing in on third place on Chelsea's list of highest appearance makers.
He is one of the most successful players in the Blues' history, having captained the side to Champions League glory last season, as well as winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups. He did endure a injury-hit 2012 but ended the year in prime form.
Terry later posted: "I have seen franks agents (sic) quotes on sky yesterday. That's all I'm going on nothing more."