Chelsea to offer Frank Lampard role on retirement

38-year-old midfielder is to leave New York City when contract expires in December

Frank Lampard is to leave New York City at the end of his current contract, which expires in December. Photograph: Getty/Michael Stewart

Frank Lampard is to leave New York City at the end of his current contract, which expires in December. Photograph: Getty/Michael Stewart

 

Chelsea will offer Frank Lampard a role back at Stamford Bridge if the former England midfielder decides his playing days are over after announcing his intention to leave New York City in December at the end of his contract.

Lampard took to social media on Monday to confirm his time at the Major League Soccer club had come to an end after 15 goals in 31 appearances, culminating in defeat by Toronto in the play-offs this month, with confirmation of his next move to follow “very soon”. The 38-year-old, who won 106 England caps, is to decide whether to move into punditry or coaching, a career choice for which he has previously expressed enthusiasm, but will field interest from Chelsea whichever path he chooses to take.

The Premier League club will offer their record goalscorer either an ambassadorial role or a position on the coaching staff, depending upon his ambitions, as they seek to retain close links with their most successful generation of players.

There is a desire within the club not to see Lampard, Didier Drogba, John Terry, Ashley Cole or even Petr Cech – who departed for Arsenal in 2015 – working for a rival club in the future. They have already integrated Carlo Cudicini, Jody Morris, Eddie Newton, Paulo Ferreira, Jon Harley and Tore Andre Flo into their staff at senior and youth level.

Lampard cut ties with Chelsea in 2014 after 13 years which yielded 211 goals from 648 appearances, three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, a Champions League and a Europa League. Having agreed to join the newly formed New York City, he spent six months on loan at their parent club, Manchester City, which was later extended to cover the entire campaign, and scored against his former side in a 1-1 draw that autumn. Yet he retains talismanic status in south-west London, with Chelsea’s supporters still regularly chanting his name at games.

“As my time at New York City comes to an end, I would like to thank so many people for the kindness and support that they have shown me over the last two years,” said Lampard on the MLS club’s website. “My team-mates have been a pleasure to play alongside. The amazing fans have given me incredible support and backing. I have very much enjoyed my time, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to play for such a great club and in such an incredible city.”

(Guardian service)

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