Speaking ahead of his club’s Capital One Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that he will consider extending midfielder Frank Lampard’s six-month loan in January.
The Chelsea legend joined Manchester City in August after initially agreeing to a contract with the new MLS club, New York City FC (NYCFC).
It was believed that Lampard would play in the Australian A-League alongside fellow NYCFC teammate David Villa this season, since the New York club will not start competing until March 2015. But Pellegrini convinced the 36-year-old that it would benefit him to train with the reigning champions of England, utilize the club’s state-of-the-art facilities and feature in Premier League matches.
This weekend, Lampard scored against Chelsea, which helped City earn a draw against the current league leaders.
When asked about the possibility of the midfielder’s loan being extended, Pellegrini said: “I can’t answer about that in this moment.”
“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.”
In August, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accused Manchester City of using its association with the New York-based MLS side to serve as the Premier League champions ‘feeder club’.
“It’s a surprise – after all the statements we heard, it looks like all these City clubs [Manchester City also own the Australian side Melbourne City] will feed the main club.”
“I heard they want to but five clubs all around the world – I don’t know the rules well enough, but they bought the New York franchise for $100m in the States to play next season, and at the moment the players they [New York] sign cannot play until next year.”
“They will register for the clubs where they will put them and they can go out on loan. Is it a way to get around the fair play? I don’t know.”
“We are happy to dedicate the money we make just to run out club, as there is not a lot of surplus to buy other clubs.”
In response to the Arsenal boss’ criticism, Manuel Pellegini responded: “I think as managers we have enough problems with our own teams to be talking about other teams.”
“The only thing I can say is that we have important restrictions about the money we can spend, and Frank Lampard was a free player – we didn’t spend any money in bringing him from New York City FC to Manchester City.”
“The problem was not that Frank Lampard did not want to sign another contract with Chelsea – Chelsea didn’t want him anymore. He is a competitive player, he will be important for our team and we didn’t spend any money on him, so the rules of financial fair play don’t have any relation with Lampard.”