Frank Lampard is set for an emotional return to Stamford Bridge in January with Manchester City after it was revealed that his stay at the Etihad has been extended.
Lampard, who became a Chelsea legend during 13 years there, was close to tears after coming off the bench to score a dramatic equaliser against his old club on Sunday.
And the 36-year-old will now be available for the return at Stamford Bridge on 31 January after it was decided that he will move to Major League Soccer and join City’s US affiliate New York City FC a month later than expected.
Club sources confirmed the move but insist there has been no major change of plan and that Lampard’s ‘loan’ has not been technically extended.
He was due to report for duty in New York in January to begin pre-season training, but City feel that it will benefit both teams if he stays in England longer.
City Manager Manuel Pellegrini needs an experienced midfielder at his disposal and Lampard will arrive in America in much better shape.
Asked earlier at his press conference to preview Wednesday’s Capital One Cup tie at home to Sheffield Wednesday, Pellegrini kept his cards close to his chest.
He said: ‘I can’t answer about that in this moment. Frank will stay until January because until January he doesn’t have anything to do in the United States because they are not working.
‘In January, we will see what happens here and make a decision. It is not a problem in this moment.’
Pellegrini revealed that Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Samir Nasri picked up injuries against Chelsea and will miss Wednesday’s cup tie, although they would probably have been rested anyway.
Aguero and Silva could return for Saturday’s trip to Hull, as could Stevan Jovetic, but Nasri and Fernando are likely to miss out.