Manchester City have confirmed the loan signing of Frank Lampard, who admits the chance to link up with the Premier League champions was one he couldn’t refuse.
The England international brought an end to his 13-year spell at Chelsea during the summer, when it was announced he would not be penning a new deal with the capital club. During his time at Stamford Bridge, the former West Ham United midfielder collected a whole range of honours, including three league titles and the UEF Champions League, and became their all-time top goalscorer.
Lampard had previously stated that such was his affection for the Londoners that he would find it difficult to play for a rival club, so it was little surprise when he agreed to head to the United States and sign for New York City. But with the MLS season not set to begin until March 2015, there was always the potential that the player would return to Europe for a temporary spell.
And it was widely reported last week that the 36-year-old would join City from their sister club, and this was finally confirmed on Wednesday. Lampard, who will hope his chances of adding to his 106 England caps will be enhanced by making such a move, will wear the number 18 shirt by Manuel Pellegrini’s side, and he has revealed that the chance to join the champions was too good to refuse.
“Joining up with Manchester City is a fantastic opportunity for me to continue to train and play at the top level and make sure I am in top condition for New York City,” he said. “It has been an amazing few days for me since the unveiling in Brooklyn and everyone connected with both clubs has been fantastic to me. This is a new chapter of my career and I’m really excited about the experience.”
There had been suggestions that Lampard would ask not to play against Chelsea, with the two clubs set to meet at the Etihad Stadium as early as 21 September during the new campaign. However, Manuel Pellegrini insists his latest signing will play a full role in their bid to retain the Premier League crown and fight for a first Champions League success until he returns to his parent club.