With MLS newcomers New York City favourites to sign him
- Frank Lampard has been told he will not be at Chelsea next season
- The 35-year-old is surplus to requirement at Stamford Bridge
- New MLS franchise New York City – part-owned by Manchester City – are favourites to sign him
- Chelsea veteran became a free agent after his contract expired
- Atletico Madrid and Spain striker David Villa also due to sign for New York
- QPR lead race of Premier League clubs interested
- But England midfielder may retire after the World Cup
Frank Lampard had been told that there will be no deal for him at Chelsea next season with New York City, the Manchester City franchise club, now favourites to sign him.
Lampard flies to Brazil with the England World Cup squad Sunday and was informed by the club last week that he was surplus to requirements for next season, which has prompted a flurry of interest from clubs, with newly promoted QPR, managed by his uncle, Harry Redknapp, the most likely option in the UK.
But no-one can match the salary offered by New York City, who are also attempting to sign Atletico Madrid’s David Villa and who can pay £5million a year – though Lampard would also considering retiring from the game altogether.
Favourites: MLS newcomers New York City believed to be in pole position to sign 35-year-old
New deal: John Terry signed a one-year contract extension with Chelsea
Exit: Ashley Cole is also set to leave Chelsea this summer after his long service
New York City is a new Major League Soccer franchise set up with the backing of Manchester City’s owner Sheik Mansour. City also have a sister club in Australia, Melbourne Heart, who initially approached Lampard, though New York is a more attractive option.
However, the need to consider the TV career of his fiancee, Christine Bleakley, could mean that Lampards decides against a move to New York as would family ties – he shares custody of his two daughters with his ex-girlfriend, Elen Rivas, who lives in London.
Lampard, 36 next month, could retire from football altogether though Redknapp will attempt to take him to QPR if he chooses not to go to New York.
Team-mate: Atletico Madrid and Spain striker David Villa is also joining New York City
Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer with 211 goals and has been one of the club’s greatest players since joining them in 2001, winning the Champions League, three Premier League titles, the Europa League, four FA Cup finals and two League Cup finals.
On Saturday night sources close to Lampard denied that a deal with New York City had already been agreed while Chelsea declined to comment
Source : Daily Mail