Tim Howard says MLS should force Lampard back — while Lampard backs extension

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

U.S. Men’s National Team player Tim Howard says MLS should force Frank Lampard to honor his deal and return to New York City FC at the conclusion of their loan.

The problem is, Lampard wants to stay.

That is the message from Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini who once again reiterated both the club and player’s desire to extend the current loan — preferably, for the remainder of the campaign.

“I think Frank is a very important player. I hope he will continue here from now until the end of the season,” Pellegrini said prior to City’s 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Asked if Lampard has expressed a similar sentiment, Pellegrini said “Yes, he has.”

That is the nature of Major League Soccer’s self-inflicted issue, says Howard, placing the blame squarely on the league.

“Perhaps [MLS] will have to slap Frank on the wrists and tell him he has to go to New York. But I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Howard told British press.

“It’s a tough one. City own both clubs and therein lies the problem.

“The MLS have made their own problem. New York is owned by Man City. Frank Lampard is playing at Man City, doing very well.

“Man City own the world … and I think Frank being part of a title-winning team is a little higher up their priorities. [MLS] made that bed.”

NYCFC’s Director of Football Claudio Reyna returned to New York late Wednesday night after days of negotiations with mother club, Manchester City. The reigning Premier League champions have not been shy about their desire to retain Lampard — preferably through May. Lampard’s presence would boost their side ahead of Champions League and regular season commitments, and would also give City a proper replacement for Yaya Toure ahead of his participation in the upcoming African Cup of Nations.

Reyna has previously hinted at the club’s willingness to extend the loan through March, but no further than opening day. Manchester officials, however, remain hesitant in allowing the former Chelsea skipper to leave at all. Lampard has scored a whopping six goals through 14 appearances across all competitions. Those goals are all the more valuable as a string of injuries have robbed City of forwards Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic.

While Pellegrini continues to openly politic for Lampard’s extension, he has once again softened the message with a polite caveat, leaving the future open to any and all possibilities.

“It is not just our decision, he said, adding, “If you ask me if I want Frank to stay, of course I want him to stay.

“He is a very important player for our squad and he is playing very well as the top player he is. Maybe in the next days we will be sure, but I cannot be 100 percent at this moment.”

  • Smith

    Man City USA is going to be a great source of ridicule if Lampard stays on the other side of the Atlantic… Which is okay with me. Who couldnt use a few laughs????????

  • dvlvrbfan

    Anyone who didn’t see this being a problem the moment Man City bought into MLS is crazy. Everyone knows Man City was going to use NYCFC as a feeder for the big club. Just another way of getting around financial fair play rules and training for their up and coming players.

    • Reporter on the move

      Best part of article:

      “The MLS have made their own problem. New York is owned by Man City. Frank Lampard is playing at Man City, doing very well.

      “Man City own the world … and I think Frank being part of a title-winning team is a little higher up their priorities. [MLS] made that bed.”

      Maybe Timmy should have the Don’s job.

      Meanwhile, Nick Chavez weeps.

  • Joey

    This is precisely why people were critical of the MLS allowing Man City own the club and they call it a repeat of Chivas USA, albeit slightly better disguised. Well, with the way things are playing out with Lampard, the disguise is clear as day. There is no way a player signs with a club, gets loaned to stay active and doesn’t play for the original club that signed him. That is ridiculous to say the least and an out right sign that NYCFC is not going to be the focus of the owners, but merely being used for Manchester City. I was excited for NYCFC and their upcoming season, but if I am one of those 11,000+ season ticket holders, I would be one pissed off fan! You announce Lampard as one of your key stars to help launch the club and now that he is playing well at the big club, you don’t want to honor the original contract. He’s on loan, if he plays well, great, you bring him back to the original club he signed for. If he doesn’t return to NYCFC at the launch of the MLS season, NYCFC and MLS should hang their heads in shame. This whole launch of a team is a farce and makes both club and league look like a joke. NYRB and NY Cosmos fan’s are going to eat this up, rightfully so!