Pellegrini suggests Manchester City could keep Frank Lampard beyond May

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Frank Lampard has emerged as a vital player to reigning Premier League champion Manchester City.

But along with David Villa, he’s the marquee player, not just by way of his skill, for New York City FC in their opening MLS season. A promised big name and thus a marketing tool, he’s responsible for providing an incentive to buy NYCFC season tickets and gear.

News broke that he will miss the first half of the 2014 year over in America because his, noticeable from his seven goal total in seventeen competitions, has taken off more than originally expected.

Obviously, some fans are “outraged” about the absence of Lampard for several months, and the response to his extension at Manchester City haven’t been positive from numerous soccer supporters, as well as journalists.

[RELATED: NYCFC fans angry as Lampard hangs on with Sky Blues]

Nonetheless, City didn’t take the Englishman on loan, as BBC Sport’s Dave Ornstein reported.

Rather, they signed him to a contract for the entire year, with a “break clause” that needed to be activated to remain overseas.

[RELATED: Lampard at Manchester City until end of PL season]

Here’s a twist. Lampard doesn’t even join NYCFC in May when City’s 2014-15 stretch concludes. He plays beyond May.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini didn’t directly address this issue, but at the same time, he didn’t reject the notion of a longer-term Lampard.

From The Guardian:

“Maybe all the New York fans, and I understand perfectly, want to see Frank playing because for the fans in New York to see Frank play is an amazing thing. I hope that he will be there next year but I think that in this moment the best decision for him, for the club, for New York is to stay here with us.”

When pressed why he had said only “hope” regarding Lampard playing at NYC next season, Pellegrini refused to clarify that the midfielder would definitely do so. Pellegrini said: “You are talking May or June? You cannot have all different questions about Frank Lampard. He will stay now with us until the end of the season. In May maybe you can start thinking about what will happen in the future. He will stay with us until May.”

In order for this to happen, the 36-year-old would likely have to re-sign with City, based on Ornstein’s theory that he inked a one-year deal at Manchester, and having Lampard during the offseason in summer wouldn’t be necessary.

So, expect to see Lampard in New York come June, assuming he doesn’t single-handedly win Pellegrini a second-consecutive league crown.