MANCHESTER, England — Frank Lampard will carry on playing for Manchester City throughout the Premier League season, the English champions announced Wednesday night.
��Manchester City can confirm that it has extended Frank Lampard’s contract up to the end of Manchester City’s season, enabling his continued participation in both domestic and European campaigns,�� the club said in a statement on its website.
Lampard will now be available to face Sunderland in a league match at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.
The 36-year-old former England and Chelsea midfielder was on a short-term deal which was due to expire on New Year’s Day when he would officially become a player of MLS team New York City FC �X a sister club of Manchester City.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini had made no secret of his desire to keep Lampard, who has scored six goals in 17 appearances for the club, although he has only started three league games. The most important of Lampard’s goals so far came against former club Chelsea in a 1-1 draw.
Lampard’s stay has added value with Yaya Toure set to go to the African Nations Cup, while City is also light on proven scorers with Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko both out injured.
Lampard joined City in August, ostensibly to maintain fitness ahead of the 2015 Major League Soccer season, which begins in March.
Halfway through the Premier League season, which ends May 24, City is in second position �X three points behind Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
City will also look to gain from Lampard’s European experience. The Londoner captained Chelsea when it won the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. City is through to the knockout stage of the Champions League for the second straight year and plays Barcelona on Feb. 24 in the home leg.