New York City FC director of football Claudio Reyna isn’t sure exactly when Frank Lampard will arrive back in the USA, but he remains more than optimistic that the midfielder will be a part of their pre-season preparations in January.
Lampard signed for NYCFC this summer after his Chelsea contract expired, but then moved on loan to sister club Manchester City, as the MLS expansion side won’t begin their inaugural season until next March.
While his loan arrangement is set to end on January 1, talk of City wanting to keep the 36-year-old at the Etihad Stadium beyond his scheduled return has been rampant since a run of four goals in three games in late-September saw him win the club’s player of the month award.
Reyna insists, however, that the plan has always been for their star signing to be a part of their first-ever pre-season, and doesn’t anticipate any issues with City ahead.
“Do we have a drop-dead date? No, we don’t, [but] the plan is Frank will be in preseason with New York City FC,” said Reyna in Manhattan on Thursday following the club’s official jersey unveiling. “He’s continuing right now – as we always talked about playing – for Manchester City, which is fantastic for him. He’s doing great, the level he’s playing at, he’s just back fully fit.
“The situation couldn’t have worked out better. Frank has somewhere to play and [we’re] really just excited to have him and he’s really excited to be here for NYC FC.”
Some reports have claimed that the US outfit could hold part of their pre-season at City’s new £200 million training complex, allowing Lampard to both train with his new teammates and continue to turn out for the Blues for the first month of 2015.
Reyna admitted that the club are considering travelling over to England, but such plans are currently entirely unrelated to Lampard’s loan.
“We’re thinking about that as an option,” said Reyna. “They just moved into a brand-new facility, [the Etihad Camps], which is one of the best in the world. We just need to figure out how that works, but it’s an option yes.”