New Yorker Lampard open to Hodgson’s call

Frank Dalleres
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CHELSEA’S record goalscorer Frank Lampard has left the door open to continuing his England career after confirming his free transfer to New York City FC, Manchester City’s North American franchise.

Lampard has a two-year contract with New York City, who will not play their first matches until next year, when they join the expanded ranks of Major League Soccer. The midfielder turned 36 last month, and England manager Roy Hodgson has tended to shun players who move abroad, but Lampard has not given up on adding to his 106 caps.

“I need to think about England, I haven’t got a complete answer on that at the moment,” said Lampard, who was Hodgson’s vice-captain for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. “Now I know where I’ll be playing my football next year, I can make that decision. I’m going to keep fit, that’s the main thing.”

Former West Ham trainee Lampard is the most high-profile English player to move to the MLS since David Beckham, and follows Spain striker David Villa in signing for New York City, who were established last year by Manchester City’s owners. Villa, 32, is set to join another club in the Premier League champions’ growing global network, Melbourne City, on loan to maintain fitness until the next MLS campaign.