Pellegrini puts Lampard talks on hold

January 02, 2015 10:06:49 UK

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has said talks aimed at resolving the long-term future of Frank Lampard will not happen until May.

The former England midfielder was expected to join MLS side New York City at the end of his loan arrangement with the Premier League champions on New Year’s Eve, but he will now stay at the Etihad Stadium until June.

New York fans’ group the Third Rail said it “publicly denounced” the decision and added supporters are “rightly outraged” by the delay in Lampard arriving.

The 36-year-old came off the bench to secure the champions a 3-2 win against Sunderland on New Year’s Day and has now scored five Premier League goals for City in 15 appearances.

When asked if he had been influenced by the club reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League, Pellegrini told reporters: “No, no. When you ask me before we qualify for [the last 16 of the] Champions League whether there was a link between the situations, Frank and the future I said no.

“Frank knows exactly what I think about that. It was very important to [extend the deal] and he will stay here now for the rest of the season.”

He added: “In mid-May maybe you can start thinking again about what might happen in the future.

“Now, he will stay with us until May.”

Pellegrini said he could understand New York City FC fans’ frustrations but insisted it was the right decision to keep hold of the former Chelsea favourite.

“I understand perfectly, they want to see Frank playing,” the Chilean added.

“To see Frank Lampard play in New York City is an amazing thing. I hope he will be there next year.

“In this moment, I think the best decision for him, for the club and for New York is to stay here with us.”

Manchester City are currently priced 2.50 to win the Premier League and quoted 17.00 to win this season’s Champions League.

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