English newspaper The Mirror has reported that a deal has been struck which will see English international and former Chelsea legend Frank Lampard join A-League side Melbourne City.
It is reported that he will sign on with the club as a ‘guest player’ and feature in 10 games in the 2014/15 A-League season.
Lampard is set to join Melbourne City’s sister club New York City when the next MLS season commences in March 2015, and will complete his guest appearances before then.
Under the A-League’s current arrangement, ‘guest players’ can have their salaries exempt from the league’s enforced salary cap for up to 10 matches.
Former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer told The Mirror that Lampard had asked him about the Australian club, and living in Melbourne.
“I said Sydney was the best place to live! But I spoke very highly of Melbourne. I actually love Melbourne. It’s a great city. I told him how passionate the Victorians in particular are with their sport.
“There is huge potential in the game in Australia and it would be unbelievable if he went to Australia. I said to him that he would love living there, it’s a great place to live.
“He walked away with that and I know what he’s like. So we will see,” Schwarzer said.
He is poised to join fellow New York City recruit David Villa, who helped Atletico Madrid win its first Spanish title in over 15 years last season. Villa will also play for Melbourne City under similar circumstances.
Both New York City and Melbourne City are 80 per cent owned by the Manchester City consortium.
Lampard will be greeted by formed Chelsea teammate Damian Duff, who signed a one-year deal with Melbourne City in June, but his salary will be paid from within the means of the salary cap. The club still hasn’t appointed an Australian marquee player.
Source: The Mirror