Manchester City transfer news: Frank Lampard heads to Etihad as pre-New York City FC stopgap

Former Chelsea midfielder likely to join Manuel Pellegrini's champions in time for the Community Shield match with Arsenal at Wembley next Sunday

Frank Lampard is to join Manchester City on a six-month loan deal and will be included in the side's Champions League and Premier League squads, raising the prospect of him featuring in the attempt to retain the title.

The former Chelsea midfielder has already agreed to join City’s MLS team - New York City FC - but since they will not begin their inaugural season until next March, the Etihad has provided a mutually convenient stop-gap. Lampard's primary motive is to maintain his fitness until the MLS pre-season in mid January but he could be particularly invaluable to Manuel Pellegrini in the Champions League.

Because City failed the Financial Fair Play test, they have a restricted 21-man Champions League squad, in which they must include five homegrown players. There must be eight homegrown in their Premier League squad, with James Milner yet to commit to the new contract City want him to sign.

City sources indicated on Friday night that there are no guarantees Lampard will figure prominently in Pellegrini's plans for the new campaign but City's need to boost their own quota of English players does make it a possibility. Manuel Pellegrini’s side face Chelsea on Sunday, September 21. 

Lampard has been actively looking for somewhere to maintain his fitness before New York City FC's inception in the US and having rejected the chance to join Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan's other newly acquired team in Melbourne, the 36 year-old is likely to join Manuel Pellegrini's champions in time for the Community Shield match with Arsenal at Wembley next Sunday. 

Another benefit for Lampard is that he will remain in the view of England manager Roy Hodgson. He has yet to announce his international retirement.

City are in Minneapolis ahead of Saturday’s Guinness International Champions Cup game with Olympiakos and , even if they reach Monday’s final in Miami, will return to England on Tuesday.

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