NYCFC’s Lampard nears City return, remains coy over possible loan extension

IMAGE, MCFC.COM

New York City F.C. star and current Manchester City loanee Frank Lampard seems to have escaped any serious ailment with his recent quad strain bout.

Now the only question remaining is just how long a healthy Lampard plans on staying in England.

The former Chelsea captain spoke with Manchester City’s website ahead of the team’s UEFA clash against Russian power, CSKA Moscow, addressing both his health concerns — and his loan status.

“All I can say is how much I’m enjoying it at City,” he told the site. “I’m contracted here until the end of December and my future will be at New York City at some stage.

The open-ended nature of his NYCFC commitment leaves room for speculation, even as head coach Jason Kreis has gone out and publicly stated a loan extension was not in the cards for the former Chelsea man. However, Lampard’s early success at City and his outward joy with the loan move tell a different story. Several tabloids, including England’s Express, claim a deal is already set for Lampard to remain in England through the end of the season.

Lampard remains coy about the possibility.

“All I can do now is go week by week and play as well as I can when I am playing to bring a good contribution.”

As that waiting game goes on, Lampard focuses his attention to Manchester City. He will not take part in Wednesday’s UEFA encounter. As he tells the City website, a re-aggravation of an “old injury” has sidelined — but not derailed him.

“I’m not far off selection,” he said. “Fingers crossed, if all goes well over the next couple of days, I’ll be back in contention.”

In his short time with the club, Lampard has become a pivotal figure. After a lackluster debut against Arsenal in mid-September, the dynamic midfielder picked up the pace, scoring four goals in six matches across all competitions. His production and workrate earned him Etihad Man of the Month honors, where fans voted the former Chelsea skipper over James Milner and David Silva.

“That’s what I was really enjoying – the fact I could come here and offer something a bit different from midfield,” he said. “I tried to arrive in the box at the right time, I got a few goals and hopefully, when I’m back fit, I’ll be doing it again.”

For now, Lampard is simply enjoying every moment while it lasts. As it goes, his future lies with NYCFC. When that future begins, however, remains to be seen.

“I didn’t know what to expect before I came here but the move has opened my eyes to a fantastic club with fantastic people behind-the-scenes and I’m just trying to enjoy every minute,” Lampard said. “It’s a great opportunity – not many at 36 get the chance to come and play for a club like City.

“I love the training, living up here, the people at the club, the staff and the fans.”