Lampard, 36, ended a 13-year association with Chelsea in the summer and joined brand new MLS club New York City FC last month.
However, NYCFC’s inaugural season will not begin until March 2015, and talks to follow the footsteps of fellow recruit David Villa and kill the time on loan at Melbourne City in Australia appear to have broken down.
The Guardian's report from Steve Brenner, an English sports journalist now living in New York, claims Lampard instead will return to the Premier League after all and join Chelsea’s title rivals.
Both champions City and Chelsea’s West London rivals Queens Park Rangers are keen on having Lampard until January, Brenner writes, but - despite a potential extension to his London life and reunion with his uncle and former West Ham manager Harry Redknapp - the veteran appears keen on City.
Frank Lampard unveiled at New York City FC (MLS)
Manchester City are of course part of the money behind the upstart Stateside franchise, alongside Major League Baseball giants the New York Yankees.
Manuel Pellegrini will register Lampard for both their Premier League and Champions League squads, provided the move isn’t curtailed by any last-minute hitches, and the presence of another English player will ease the pressure on City to stay on the right side of foreign player quotas.
Not only that, but with the midfielder having not yet retired from England contention, the move could keep him in Roy Hodgson’s thoughts for the opening wave of Euro 2016 qualifiers this autumn.
Pellegrini’s side are in Minneapolis for Saturday’s Guinness International Champions Cup game with Olympiacos and, even if they reach Monday’s final in Miami, will return to England on Tuesday.
They hope to have Lampard training with them before Sunday’s Community Shield match against Arsenal, where he could end up making his debut in sky blue.
City have done this before, signing Owen Hargreaves on a free transfer in the twilight of his career. This one makes more football sense though as Lampard still has the legs for the Premier League, and his experience will be helpful around the dressing room. It's a win-win situation for all parties, as it allows New York to keep their marquee signing fit for the start of the 2015 MLS season, gives City a proven winner, and allows Lampard to extend his top-level career by half a season.
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