Frank Lampard‘s situation has calmed down. The man himself came out and somewhat cleared the air with an official statement last week, and the midfielder has reassured New York City FC fans that he is excited to join up with the team in July.
After agreeing to move to Major League Soccer with New York City last summer, Lampard then joined Manchester City on what was expected to be a short-term contract.
That agreement has been labelled as a loan as well as a short-term contract but regardless, the former Chelsea legend has ended up succeeding in Manchester and has had whatever contract he has with the club extended to the end of the current Premier League season.
That means he will miss the start of New York City FC’s inaugural MLS campaign and won’t join up until July, but Lampard has confirmed that he has always been fully committed to New York since he agreed to join the club.
“It was 100 per cent New York,” he told The Times’ Oliver Kay. “I had sat down with Ferran [Soriano] and it was all about New York. There was no mention of Man City.
“If they had wanted to speak to me on behalf of Man City, with New York in the pipeline beyond that, they could have done that, because I was a free agent, but that was never the question at all.
“We had the press conference, had dinners with Jason [Kreis] and with Claudio [Reyna], talking about the future. I was really excited about it. I’m excited now, just talking about it.”
But his contract with the club was set to run from January 1st 2015 for two years, and now that hasn’t happened there have been many supporters questioning the 36-year-old’s commitment to MLS and NYCFC.
However, Lampard is adamant that he is fully focused on New York City FC, and the fact that he is staying with Manchester City for longer will have no impact on his determination when he does move stateside in July.
“I’ve heard and seen people say it must have been all contrived that I would join Man City,” he said. “It wasn’t. It was 100 per cent New York.
“But while all this discussion was going on about what I was going to do for the next five or six months, Man City were in town for a pre-season game.
“I spoke with Manuel Pellegrini and he said he wanted me to come for the first half of the season — simple as that.
“I have signed for New York, the original intention was for that to start on January 1. I signed a Man City agreement in the interim [in August]. Now that has obviously changed. I have extended my period here and will join New York later.”
Lampard will move to MLS at the same time fellow English midfielder Steven Gerrard joins as the Liverpool captain has agreed to join LA Galaxy in July.
And the City midfielder is eager to make up for lost time when he touches down in the Big Apple, and has no plans on ‘going easy’ when he starts life with New York City in the summer.
“What I want to say to the New York people is that, yes, my start is going to be delayed by two or three months, but when I get there, I’m going to give everything, as I’ve given at Man City, as I’ve given at Chelsea before.
“I want to win. I’ve seen Stevie say the same, how much he wants to win medals there. He’s like me, I think. We’re both driven. We don’t go somewhere to put our feet up and relax. No matter what we’ve achieved in the past, we will always want more. I will certainly give that to New York.
“Because it’s a team that’s just beginning, there’s a danger of there being a whole focus on me because of this situation, but, from being inside it and speaking to Jason regularly, there’s a whole squad of players.
“There’s David Villa, Josh Saunders, a whole squad, maybe another DP [designated player] to come in. It’s a squad. That’s what is going to win us the MLS next year, not whether I trot up in March or June,” he said.
“Yes I’m coming that bit later now, but when I get there, I want to make up for lost time, simple as that. From how I saw it there, the New York people aren’t going to accept a team that’s a bitty team, just there for the sake of it. I want to go there, play well and be part of a good team.
“Speaking to the people involved, there is no doubt they are going to give New York a team to be proud of. There will be no second best. They won’t be happy until they win there, simple as that, and that’s what made me want to go there.”
Will Frank Lampard succeed with New York City when he joins in July?