Several news sources, including NBC Sports, were this evening reporting that England's vice-captain was today joined by Spanish star David Villa at Manchester City's training complex ahead of a spectacular double move to the MLS' newest franchise New York City FC.
The New York club, who were bought by a joint venture of Manchester City and the New York Yankees, are due to join the MLS at the beginning of next season, which is March 2015 in the US and Canada. They are set to line up in the Sky Blue of their English owners, and have former City and US star Claudio Reyna as their director of football operations. They will be managed by former Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis.
Lampard and Villa are to be the side's two designated marquee signings, players whose wages don't need to be within the league's salary cap. David Beckham and Thierry Henry are two others who moved to the MLS as a marquee player, and went on to star for their sides.
If Lampard were to leave Stamford Bridge he would do so as one of Chelsea's greatest ever players. He has been at the club for 13 years, the most successful period of Chelsea's history, and has amassed an astonishing 211 goals in 648 games, more than any other player, something that is all the more remarkable considering he is a midfielder.
The signing of David Villa would be almost as huge as Lampard. Having won La Liga in his first season at Atletico Madrid since arriving from Barcelona, Villa is still only 32 years-old, and would be a valuable player at almost any club in Europe. Recruiting Spain's record goalscorer to play in the same team as Lampard would make a mouthwatering proposition for fans of North American soccer.
Goal is reporting that Villa may train with Manchester City up to the beginning of the 2015 season, when New York City join the MLS league, and it remains to be seen whether and where the Spaniard, and therefore Lampard will play their football up until that point.