Frank Lampard may be set for loan spell at Manchester City and he can expect a warm welcome
By Kaveh Solhekol
Last Updated: 03/08/14 12:20am
Kaveh Solhekol reports from the States as Manchester City close in on a dramatic loan signing ...
Is he really going to sign for City? That’s the question City fans have been asking here in Minneapolis.
The City squad is packed with stars, but the addition of Frank Lampard - even on a temporary loan basis - would add a little extra something.
Lampard would not be a first pick ahead of midfielder players such as Yaya Toure, Fernando and Fernandinho, but he would be a very useful addition to a squad that needs English players to satisfy Premier League and Uefa requirements.
His expected arrival has been welcomed by City legend Mike Summerbee. “I know Frank and his father well," he said. "He is a great player and a fantastic role model."
Every City fan we spoke to here in Minneapolis said they would have no problem with Lampard wearing a light blue shirt.
The fans don’t mind the fact that he is so closely associated with Chelsea, they are willing to put that to one side and concentrate on the bigger picture.
That bigger picture appears to be world domination. Their sister club New York City will launch in MLS next March and they also own Melbourne City in Australia. That’s where Spain striker David Villa will be playing before he joins Lampard in America next March.
If Lampard joins City, he will not be the first MLS player to be loaned back to the Premier League. Thierry Henry returned to Arsenal, Clint Dempsey went back to Fulham, Robbie Keane joined Aston Villa and Landon Donovan played for Everton. David Beckham was the most famous MLS loan star, playing for AC Milan and ending his career at Paris Saint-Germain.
A Lampard move to the Etihad Stadium appears to make sense for both parties. Lampard can continue playing at the highest level until he moves to the United States, and City get his goals and experience whenever they need him during the first half of the season.
The question is how much will they actually need him? The City midfield is stacked with options across the pitch. As well as Toure, Fernando and Fernandinho, there’s also James Milner, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, David Silva, Javi Garcia, Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair.
If Lampard does sign and train at Carrington next week, he is likely to be joined by Eliaquim Mangala.
It is no secret that City are close to signing the France defender and, according to chief executive Ferran Soriano, that would be that as far as City are concerned in the transfer market.
Watching City train in America, you are struck by the pace and power of their players and the sheer strength of their squad. Adding Lampard and Managala as well as Fernando, Willy Caballero and Bacary Sagna makes the champions unquestionably stronger.
Chelsea travel to City on September 21st. There have already been suggestions that Lampard would be unwilling to face his former team-mates. If he does play against Chelsea, it would be one of the Premier League’s strangest sights. If he scores, don’t expect a celebration.
Watch Olympiakos v Man City tonight, live on Sky Sports 1 HD, kick-off 8pm.