FRANK Lampard has added to the confusion surrounding his contract to play in Major League Soccer, contradicting New York City FC’s original announcement by saying Friday he didn’t sign a deal to join the team in August 2014.
The uncertainty over the midfielder’s status emerged after his stay at Manchester City, which was initially described as a loan from its New York partner club, was extended until the end of the season.
The move prompted criticism in the United States because Lampard will miss NYCFC’s debut in MLS in March.
“When released from Chelsea last year at the end of my contract I signed a commitment to play in NYCFC for two years starting January 1st 2015,” the 36-year-old former England international said in a statement released by his management company.
“I was then offered the chance to train and be part of the Man City squad in the interim to keep myself in the best shape going into New York. This period has since been extended by Man City and I now will start playing for NYCFC at the end of this current Premier League season.”
Much of the confusion and criticism over Lampard’s stint at City has centred on NYCFC’s own announcement on July 24 stating that he had “signed a two-year contract which starts August 1st” and his insistence that he wouldn’t play for another English team after leaving Chelsea.
But Lampard said he had read “a lot of lies and nonsense over the last few days.”
“There has always been a constant dialogue between all parties in this time to find the best solution for everyone,” Lampard said.
“I can say that I am very excited about arriving in New York.”