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Fergie regrets losing out on Lampard

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted 'regret' that he did not sign Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard earlier in his career.

• Bale miss haunts Fergie

Lampard has had great success in a Blues shirt after he signed from West Ham in 2001, winning a number of Premier League titles, FA Cup crowns and a coveted Champions League trophy.

And along the way, the 34-year-old has scored 201Chelsea goals - one shy of the all-time record held by Bobby Tambling.

Lampard will have the chance to break Tambling's record when Chelsea visit Ferguson's United on Sunday.

And on the eve of battle, Ferguson has congratulated the England international on his career and wondered what could have been had he been able to lure a young Lampard to Manchester.

"Lampard has been unbelievable," said Ferguson. "I don't think a midfield player will be able to do that figure again. It's quite phenomenal.

"Like Bryan Robson, he has had a great knack of timing his runs into the box at the right time. John Wark was another one at Ipswich.

"The other things is I can't remember Lampard ever being injured. When he's not been playing it's because they thought he was past it.

"The guy has had a great career. I must say we looked at him when he was at West Ham as a young player and I maybe regret not having done it.

"Where else could I get 200 goals?"

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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