Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Frank Lampard will be with the club until January at least, while hinting that he could extend the former Chelsea midfielder’s loan deal beyond the terms initially agreed with New York City FC.
Lampard joined the Premier League champions on a short-term contract in order to maintain his fitness before officially completing his move to City’s sister club in the USA, who will not enter MLS until next season.
The 36-year-old made his debut against Arsenal in the 2-2 draw 10 days ago before he, somewhat predictably, registered a decisive contribution against former club Chelsea, netting a late leveller at the Etihad Stadium.
Pellegrini would now appear open to extending Lampard with City beyond the expiration of the current agreement, although is not prepared to take the decision until everything is reviewed in January.
“I can’t answer about that in this moment,” Pellegrini told reporters.
“Frank will stay until January because until January he doesn’t have anything to do in the United States because they are not working.
“In January we will see what is happening and we will make a decision then. It is not a problem in this moment.”
Manchester City announced a six-month loan for Lampard on August 6 which would actually mean the deal would expire during the first week of February. However, the last game Lampard could feasibly play before then would be on January 31.
This game would potentially be Lampard’s last in English football and, quite fittingly, is against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Another goal against the Blues, for whom he scored 211 times, would be some way to bow out of the game at the highest level.
Were City about to negotiate an extension then Lampard could be available for Hull’s visit to Manchester on February 7 and a trip to Stoke City, who won at the Etihad earlier this season, four days later.
The following weekend City will play in the fifth round of the FA Cup, if they are still involved of course. It is a competition in which Lampard has been rather successful, having won it with Chelsea on four occasions.
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