Frank Lampard has signed deal to join New York City FC in July, agent says
Frank Lampard has signed a deal to join New York City FC on July 1 and will not play for Manchester City in the next Premier League season, the player's agent Steve Kutner told talkSPORT radio in the U.K.
Kutner made the comments in an interview with talkSPORT's Jason Cundy.
"Steve assures me that Frank has signed a contract with New York City that will start on July 1," said Cundy, as he read quotes from his conversation with Kutner.
"He also assures me that Frank will not be at Manchester City next season. He will go to America on July 1 and will then be a player for New York City."
Lampard's current stint with Manchester City was initially described as a loan deal from the new MLS franchise he appeared to join after he left Chelsea last summer, but it emerged on Thursday that he had not put pen to paper on any agreement with the fledgling New York club.
"Frank Lampard is registered as a Manchester City player until the end of the 2014-15 season," the statement read. "The Premier League has sought and received assurances from Manchester City that there is no agreement in place between the Club or City Football Group with New York City FC relating to the player."
That sparked suggestions that Lampard had duped American soccer fans after his unveiling in the Big Apple last summer, with some suggesting he may never end up moving to the United States following the huge success of his time at City.
With Manchester City and New York City sharing owners, it seemed as if the Premier League champions had won the battle to keep Lampard as his arrival in New York was delayed and his contract at the Etihad Stadium was extended until the end of June.
MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott went some ways toward clarifying the matter.
"[Lampard] has a contract with Manchester City to play in the Premier League," said Abbott. "He has an agreement with the City Football Group that he will come to play in MLS after the Manchester City contract is done, and he will do that pursuant to an MLS contract."
Abbott emphasised that what the Premier League said in its statement is that there is no agreement between Manchester City and NYCFC that can be characterised as a loan or anything else.
Abbott added that Lampard's initial deal was always with City Football Group (rather than an individual club) to play for both clubs, and the Manchester City half of it was simply extended. What was confusing to fans and media was that the New York City aspect of the deal was announced first, as opposed to both halves being revealed simultaneously.
Now Lampard will be headed stateside following the conclusion of Manchester City's season, though there will need to be plenty of fence-mending with fans who will no doubt feel they were misled by NYCFC.