Frank Lampard is indeed staying in the English Premier League – for the next five months.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini on Saturday confirmed that New York City FC’s newest signing will join the Citizens on loan until January of 2015 until the expansion MLS club makes its debut. Reports of the move surfaced on Friday, but neither club officially confirmed it.
And the former Chelsea icon is not just there to make up the numbers, the Chilean manager said.
"From next Wednesday, he will start working with our team and will play for us until [January],” Pellegrini told reporters at Minneapolis' TCF Bank Stadium after Man. City’s penalty-kick loss to Olympiacos in the exhibition International Champions Cup tournament. "At the moment, he will start working with the squad because he is a member of the squad. So he will fight for a position.”
Manchester City have a busy 2014-15 season ahead, opening with the FA Community Shield on August 10 at Wembley Stadium against FA Cup winners Arsenal. They then kick off their defense of their second EPL title in three seasons on Aug. 17 at Newcastle United and enter UEFA Champions League group-stage play in September.
According to Pellegrini, Lampard will be an important squad member for every competition while City have the 36-year-old.
"He knows that we have a very good team, he is one player more and we have a lot of games particularly with the Champions League,” he said of the England international, “so he's very important for our team."
Man. City also have a date with Lampard’s old club, Chelsea, on Sept. 21. Pellegrini wouldn’t say with any certainty whether the former Blues captain would suit up against the club where he spent the past 13 seasons.
Expansion NYCFC announced Lampard’s signing last week. Their other Designated Player, former Spanish international David Villa, will head on loan to Melbourne City FC – Manchester City’s Australian A-League affiliate – until the 2015 MLS preseason.