Manchester United tempted by summer move to sign Frank Lampard

Alex Ferguson tempted to sign England midfielder once Chelsea deal expires

Sir Alex Ferguson has been monitoring Frank Lampard's position at Chelsea and is considering making a sensational summer move for the player, whom he has always admired.

Lampard is understood not to be averse to a switch to Old Trafford this summer and after the player's agent announced that the midfielder would "in no circumstances" be offered a fresh contract to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond this season, a move for a player is a genuine possibility in a summer when the Manchester United midfield will need reinforcing. Lampard is already free to speak to United, as he enters the final six months of his contract.

With Lampard 35 in June, Ferguson would be asking the United board to sanction a deal for a player who would have no sell-on value at a club still struggling under the weight of the Glazer debt. But the immediate results delivered by 29-year-old Robin van Persie have demonstrated the value to United of deviating from the usual club policy of seeking players under the age of 25. With Paul Scholes looking increasingly likely to retire for good this summer, Lampard would be an attractive prospect.

Ferguson considered bidding for Lampard when he joined Chelsea from West Ham for £11m in 2001 and he has made no secret of his admiration for him over the years. "Lampard is quite an interesting case. He is an exceptional individual," the United manager said in 2005 and with possibly only one year of his own United career to run as he heads into the 2013-14 campaign, he will be tempted by the fact that Lampard offers certainties, unlike a young or overseas player, who may take time to bed in.

Ferguson will feel that the excellent physical condition Lampard has maintained offers potential for him to deliver the same for United that Ryan Giggs has offered through a series of rolling one-year contracts. He would be less of a gamble than Michael Owen, who never entirely shook off injury after arriving in the summer of 2009 on a free transfer, aged 29.

The United manager will also have in mind what Henrik Larsson delivered for him after he was signed on three months' loan in the winter of 2006, at the age of 35. Ferguson said he would have "done anything" to keep the Swede after he fulfilled a pledge to his family to return to Sweden and rejected the manager's requests to extend, in March 2007.

A United move for Lampard this month seems highly unlikely, since Chelsea reflect most clubs in being unwilling to sell to their rivals in mid-season. A two-year QPR deal is equally doomed for that reason, though manager Harry Redknapp has admitted that Lampard is too good to join him at Loftus Road. Chelsea are unlikely to block a move abroad for Lampard this month, if interest from China or the US materialises. The biggest challenge seems to be finding the package that would attract Lampard, who currently earns in excess of £140,000 a week.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas