Will Frank Lampard ever play for New York City? Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini refuses to clarify the midfielder's future

The former Chelsea player scored the winner against Sunderland just hours after extending his loan

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The Independent Football

Manuel Pellegrini and Manchester City found themselves embroiled in a trans-Atlantic public relations controversy following their 3-2 victory over Sunderland when the manager refused to clarify whether Frank Lampard will ever play for MLS side New York City.

Manchester officials moved to claim that Lampard, who had reportedly signed a deal with City’s New York “sister” club that started on New Year's Day, would definitely join them in May, having extended his City loan deal until the end of the season. It all raises doubt about the exact nature of his arrangement with the American team.

New York fans groups had been vocal in their anger at City announcing on New Year’s Eve that Lampard, who scored the winning goal at the Etihad, would not be joining them until the end of the season. There was talk of boycotts and demands for refunds among the New York club’s 11,000 season-ticket holders.

Pellegrini will have increased that dissatisfaction with his refusal to confirm that Lampard will definitely play for the US side when the English season ends in May. “Frank will stay now with us until the end of the season,” said Pellegrini when asked if Lampard would ever play for the American club. “In May, you can start thinking about what will happen in the future."


He continued: “I understand New York fans want to see Frank playing because for them [it would be] amazing. I hope he will be there next year but I think at this moment it is the best decision for him, for the club, for New York, for him to stay with us until the end of the season.”