Reports: Lampard set to join Man City
Frank Lampard is set to join Manchester City before joining their sister club, MLS expansion franchise New York City FC, in 2015, according to multiple reports.
NYCFC do not begin playing until March, leaving the 36-year-old midfielder looking for a destination to maintain his fitness between the World Cup and his Major League Soccer debut.
The new American club is co-owned by Manchester City and the New York Yankees baseball team, making Lampard's short-term move to Manchester an easy choice, though still a surprising one for a player who had been with Chelsea since 2001.
Lampard rejected a move to join another of City's global clubs, Melbourne City, according to the Guardian.
Staying in England through the New Year will help Lampard, who has yet to officially announce his international retirement, stay in Roy Hodgson's plans for Euro 2016 qualifying this autumn.
At his New York unveiling last week, Lampard spoke of his desire to keep up his fitness levels before joining MLS.
"I will have to keep fit. I'll have to train at the very top level, whether that's on my own or with a club somewhere, I'll have to see," Lampard said. "Of course I'll keep fit and make sure my levels don't drop too much.
"When we come here for preseason I want to be ready to go. I want to fly out of the blocks. I don't want to come out sluggish."
Manchester City, who return to England from their American tour on Tuesday, hope to have Lampard in training before Sunday's Community Shield match against Arsenal, the Guardian said.
Manchester City face Lampard's former team Chelsea on Sept. 21.
City declined to comment on the reports when contacted by ESPN FC.