This complicated tale has taken yet another twist.
According to reports, there is no direct deal in place between Man City and NYCFC for Frank Lampard, but the Citizens have not broken any Premier League rules about how they’ve handled this deal.
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The 36-year-old midfielder ‘signed for NYCFC’ (just read New York’s official release from that date, here) in July 2014 to play in the 2015 and 2016 MLS seasons and was then ‘loaned’ to Man City for the first five-months of the current Premier League campaign. However, after deciding to extend that loan deal on New Year’s Eve until the end of the current season, confusion surrounding who actually owns Lampard has been rife.
MLS revealed that City Football Group [CFG], a company set up by Sheikh Mansour who owns Man City, Melbourne City and New York, signed Lampard to play in the next two MLS seasons. According to the Guardian, who have a statement from the Premier League, City have no agreement in place with New York City FC relating to Lampard.
“Frank Lampard is registered as a Manchester City player until the end of the 2014-15 season. The Premier League has sought and received assurances from Manchester City that there is no agreement in place between the club or City Football Group with New York City FC relating to the player.”
Lampard now has a big decision to make as he could stay at City for the whole of next season, under his contract with CFG, despite MLS announcing he will arrive in July alongside Steven Gerrard following the end of the Premier League season.
Is it better for Lampard to cut his ties with NYCFC and stay with Man City instead? Or should he head to MLS and brace himself for the inevitable backlash he will receive from the media, fans and everybody else in-between?