Lampard ‘would have obviously stayed’ at Chelsea
New York City midfielder Frank Lampard has confirmed he would have stayed at Chelsea if the Blues had offered him a new contract, Sky Sports reports.
Lampard left Chelsea this summer following the expiry of his contract, bringing to an end a trophy-laden 13-year spell with the club. But it has emerged that the choice was not made by the player, with the club deciding against offering fresh terms to the 106-cap England international.
“I would have obviously stayed if Chelsea had offered me another year. There was no reason for me to leave,” said Lampard. “If Chelsea had given me a new contract it would have been mad not to take it at the time.”
Lampard does not bear any grudges, however, believing the decision was in the best interests of the club.
“I had a chat with Jose Mourinho and both he and the club were always great with me. The decision was made – and I don’t know who made it. When we won the Champions League I knew there would be some sort of evolution. Chelsea wanted to bring in some younger players and it was the right move for the club,” said Lampard.
“Jose was brilliant about it. I didn’t walk out with any bad feelings towards him or the club. I knew things were coming to a head but I’m realistic and, in football, I move on quite quickly.”
Lampard did indeed move on quickly, signing for new MLS franchise New York City before immediately agreeing a six-month loan move back to the Premier League with the new outfit’s associated club Manchester City.
Lampard, now 36, confirmed that while he did not want to just fade away at Chelsea, receiving increasingly less game time, he retains the belief that he can still perform at the highest level. “It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could still do it. If I felt like that I wouldn’t have gone to City on loan,” he insisted. “What I really want now is to make a really positive impact in my time at Manchester City and then again in the next stage of my career.”
Lampard has yet to make an appearance for the current Premier League champions, although when he does, they will be the fourth team he has represented in the English league, having started his career with West Ham United and spent a brief loan spell with Swansea City in 1995.
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