Man City secure surprise swoop for USA-bound Frank Lampard
Former Chelsea (7/4 favourites to win the Premier League) midfielder Frank Lampard has made a surprise switch to English rivals Manchester City (12/5) on a six-month loan deal.
The 36-year-old has already agreed to sign for new MLS franchise New York City – who are owned by Man City – from March 2015 on a two-year contract, but will now join his new teammates on Wednesday August 5th until the end of January.
Lampard was heavily linked with a move to Australian outfit Melbourne City, also an affiliate club of the Manchester side, and join future New York teammate David Villa, but the duo will have to wait to play together.
“I will have to keep fit,” Lampard said at his unveiling with the new MLS franchise. “I’ll have to train at the very top level.
“Pre-season here will start mid to late January and that will soon come around. I’ve had time out of football with injury before – three or four months sometimes and it’s not that long.
“In the meantime of course I’ll keep fit and make sure my levels don’t drop too much. When we come here for pre-season I want to be ready to go. I want to fly out of the blocks. I don’t want to come out sluggish.”
However, only last year did Lampard strongly hint he could not represent another Premier League side in particular. “I can’t imagine playing for anyone else after being 12 years at Chelsea. I’ve got a lot of respect for a lot of other Premier League clubs, particularly the top ones, but I’m not sure I could have done that.”
Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time record scorer and, after spending 13 years at the club where he netted 211 goals in 649 matches, it will certainly be a strange prospect for many if he were to face the Blues. The two sides are set to meet on September 21st in the league, and it will be interesting to see if he will feature. Reports suggest that he has asked not to play, though.
City have been fairly quiet compared to most in England this summer in the transfer window, recruiting just three other senior players, but Lampard brings a wealth of experience to the Premier League champions.
The England World Cup player, who captained his country in their final group game in Brazil, will battle for a starting place at the Etihad with the likes of Fernandinho, Yaya Toure and new recruit Fernando.