Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Pellegrini spells out importance of Lampard deal

City gent: Frank Lampard will go to Manchester, then New York

Frank Lampard will join up with Manchester City next week as he begins a loan spell with the Premier League champions.

Although the club have not yet officially announced the deal, City boss Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that the England midfielder, who signed for City's sister outfit New York City FC this summer ending 13 trophy-laden years at Chelsea, will join up with his team on Wednesday.

With the 2015 Major League Soccer season not starting until the spring, there was speculation that Lampard would head to Melbourne City, the third club owned by the City Football Group, on a short-term deal, but following the friendly against Olympiacos in Minneapolis, Pellegrini confirmed the 36-year-old will now move to the Etihad until the new year before the next American season begins in March.

"As you know Frank has signed a contract with New York City and will start working here (the United States) in January as the season starts in March," said Pellegrini.

"From next Wednesday he will start working with our team and will play for us until then.

"At the moment he will work with the squad and be a member of the squad. He will fight for a position.

"He knows we have a very good team, we have a lot of players in his position. He is one player more.

"We have a lot of games particularly with the Champions League – so he's very important for our team."

The move had been mooted for 48 hours previously with reports suggesting that Lampard would be unwilling to face Chelsea on September 21.

And when prompted on the issue, Pellegrini suggested he would be open to the possibility of Lampard missing out against the Blues, although there was no guarantee he would not feature.

"I will talk about those things with him, but he is a player for Manchester City, he will play every game he needs to play," he added.

A spell in the Premier League could see Lampard extend his England career, which has so far seen him win 106 caps, scoring 29 goals.

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