Frank Lampard 'reportedly signs for New York City FC' on a free transfer with David Villa also joining

Blues midfielder will join David Villa at new MLS franchise
  • @cwjreynolds

Frank Lampard has agreed to join new MLS franchise New York City on a free transfer after being released by Chelsea, according to reports.

The former Blues man could also be joined by Atletico Madrid and Spain striker David Villa who is set to be another high-profile signing for the franchise, according to the Daily Mirror.

Lampard and Villa were both at Manchester City's Carrington complex yesterday as they looked to complete the formalities of their moves, with the former breaking from his England preparations to sort out his transfer.

The two men met with New York City head coach Jason Kreis, who has been in charge of Manchester City's MLS franchise since January.

It is understood that Lampard has agreed to a substantial wage drop from his previous £150,000-a-week deal at Stamford Bridge, although that could be supplemented with hefty bonuses.

Lampard's signature will end his 13-year spell at Chelsea, having joined from West Ham in 2001.

In that time he has become Chelsea's record goalscorer with 211 goals and won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.

Villa also represents a big coup for the franchise, having just won the La Liga title with Atletico Madrid and finished runner-up in the Champions League.

In an interview posted on Atletico Madrid website, the 32-year-old said: "I'm looking forward to such an important project that has opened up for me and for my family, at a sporting level, personal and for the future. I'm really looking forward to another challenge.

"At a personal level it's what I've tried to do in my career, to overcome challenges, and I think this is another big challenge for my career and for my life."

Villa was also keen to thank everybody at Atletico, whom he joined last summer from Barcelona and helped win the Primera Division title for the first time since 1996 and also reach the Champions League final, where they lost to Real Madrid.

"I want to thank the Atletico fans who have continually said they want me to stay," said Villa.

"I'm grateful to Cholo (coach Diego Simeone) and the coaching staff, who have told me they wanted me to stay, the same as (president) Enrique Cerezo and (owner) Miguel Angel Gil Marin on behalf of the club. But it's an irresistable opportunity for me and my family.

"It's been a very positive experience for me (at Atletico). Not only a sporting one, as you've obviosuly all seen, but also personally. I"ve found a very good family both in the changing room and with the fans and the club, who have helped me a lot and made me feel very happy. I will treasure this year for the rest of my life.

"I hope, trust and believe that the coming years are going to be very successful for Atletico Madrid.

"I will enjoy from afar the success of this club and the good things that it deserves."