New York officials refuse to get involved in debate over whether former Chelsea midfielder’s loan deal at Manchester City will be extended into next year
New York's Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber says the league will not get involved in the decision over whether Frank Lampard’s loan deal at Manchester City will be extended into next year.
Former Chelsea and England midfielder Lampard is on loan at City from new MLS team New York City FC, who will start their first season in late February, and he is expected to play a high profile role in the launch of the club’s first campaign.
A loan deal beyond February would encroach into the 2015 MLS season but Garber said it was entirely a matter for NYCFC to resolve.
“All player personnel decisions are made by the club. I have great confidence in the management in New York and the ownership and their representatives,” he told Reuters on Tuesday.
“I am sure in due time they will be able to deal with this issue but it is not something that the league is going to weigh in on in any way,” he added.
The situation is similar to the controversy which surrounded David Beckham’s loan moves to AC Milan, which led him to miss games for the LA Galaxy and in which the league did get involved in negotiations.
However, the Lampard situation differs in that NYCFC and Manchester City are both owned by the Abu Dhabi-controlled City Football Group.
While NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna said recently that Lampard was due to team up with his American club for pre-season training in January, there has been media speculation in England that the 36-year-old midfielder, who is has been in impressive form, could have an extension to his loan.
Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini said on Tuesday a decision on Lampard’s future will be taken in the coming month regardless of whether the club progress in the Champions League.
“The decision with Frank Lampard will be the same if we continue in the Champions League or if we don’t continue in the Champions League. We have the whole month of December to decide,” he said.
NYCFC have also signed ex-Spain and Barcelona striker David Villa who is currently on loan at their Melbourne sister club.