Pellegrini bids to end Lampard saga

first_img Lampard has been the face of New York City’s marketing campaign ahead of their inaugural season and many fans demanded a refund on their season tickets after it was confirmed he would remain in Manchester until the summer. City boss Pellegrini said: “I think it’s an issue which is finished. Frank now is here. I know that there a lot of different opinions about Frank, about that. I respect all of them, but the decision is taken already and Frank will stay here until the end of the season.” Lampard released a statement via Steve Kutner Management on Friday morning seeking to clarify the situation, although clarity is one thing sorely lacking. “I want to make it completely clear about my situation as I have read a lot of lies and nonsense over the last few days,” the 36-year-old said. “When released from Chelsea last year at the end of my contract I signed a commitment to play for NYCFC for two years starting January 1, 2015. I was then offered the chance to train and be part of the Man City squad in the interim to keep myself in the best shape going into New York. “This period has since been extended by Man City and I will now start playing for NYCFC at the end of this current Premier League season. “There has always been a constant dialogue between all parties in this time to find the best solution for everyone. I can say that I am very excited about arriving in New York and giving everything to the team to make us a success in the MLS as soon as possible.” Pellegrini, meanwhile, did not rule out trying to hold onto Lampard beyond the end of the season. The Chilean said: “I think Frank is doing very well with us and I am happy with him as part of the squad. Not only on the pitch but off the pitch, as a professional, as a leader, which is always good for young players, to see him working here. “But at the end of the season, he finishes his contract here. I cannot say what will happen in the future. If I say I cannot say, you will suppose that maybe he will stay here.” There has been confusion over the precise nature of Lampard’s contract status in relation to both clubs since it was announced on New Year’s Eve that he would remain with the Barclays Premier League champions until the end of the season. That announcement has delayed his debut with sister club New York until midway through their first MLS campaign, to the anger of many fans in the United States. On Thursday, the Premier League announced that, after reviewing Lampard’s status, it was satisfied his contract was solely owned by Manchester City with no agreement in place between the two clubs – which sparked fresh speculation he might never play in MLS. But Lampard issued a statement via his representatives which said he does have an agreement in place with New York and will move there in the summer. Quoted in the Guardian, City said: “The statement on the NYCFC website in July saying Lampard’s two-year contract took effect from Aug 1, 2014 was a mistake. [The] initial statement on City’s website that it was a loan was also an error. “There was a head of terms commitment from Lampard to join NYCFC from Jan 1, 2015. That was extended to the end of this season. Any contract with NYCFC will now take effect from July 1, 2015.” Manchester City and New York City, both part of the City Football Group, have been criticised on both sides of the Atlantic for their handling of the situation. With Yaya Toure heading to the African Nations Cup, City were understandably keen to keep Lampard after his return of seven goals, largely as a substitute, but in doing so they have angered the fan base of New York City before they have kicked a ball in competitive action. Manchester City on Friday admitted making mistakes in the way the former Chelsea midfielder’s move to the Etihad Stadium was reported. It was claimed in August that Lampard had joined City on loan until the start of January after penning a deal with Major League Soccer side New York City FC earlier in the summer. Manuel Pellegrini wants a line to be drawn under the Frank Lampard contract saga. Press Associationlast_img read more

Serena sweeps Hopman Cup singles ahead of Slam record bid

first_imgHer form was patchy across the three matches, but Williams said the round robin format of the event was ideal preparation for Melbourne.“It was definitely good to play three singles matches here, not to mention the mixed,” she said after her singles match.Williams cruised through the first set against Boulter, but found a more competitive opponent in the second.Not for the first time this week, the frustration of the American grew as Boulter was able to match her for winners, with the Brit claiming an early break in the second game.Williams immediately broke back, but then enjoyed a slice of good fortune when her forehand dropped over the net on a Boulter break point in the fourth game.The set remained on serve until the tie-break, which Williams dominated.In the men’s singles, the struggling Tiafoe led 5-3 in the first set, but won just one more game in losing 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 to Cameron Norrie.The Brits claimed the tie with victory in the mixed doubles.Share on: WhatsApp Perth, Australia | AFP | Serena Williams completed a clean sweep of her singles matches at the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth Thursday as she prepares for her bid to make Grand Slam history at the Australian Open.The winner of 23 Slam singles titles, Williams was made to work a little harder than expected by young Brit Katie Boulter in the United States’ final group tie, but prevailed in straight sets to make it three victories from as many outings.However, the 37-year-old’s perfect singles record this week wasn’t enough to keep the USA in contention at what is expected to be the last Hopman Cup, where she has twice been a winner.Williams and Frances Tiafoe were already eliminated after losing their opening two ties.Watched by her daughter Alexis Olympia, Williams’ 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) win over the 97th-ranked Boulter followed victories over former top 10 player Belinda Bencic and Greece’s Maria Sakkari earlier in the week.Currently ranked 16th, Williams needs just one more Grand Slam singles title to equal the record of Australian Margaret Court, but hasn’t won a major since the Australian Open in 2017.She gave birth to her daughter in late 2017 and was beaten in the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year.It was at the latter that she had a major meltdown during her loss to Naomi Osaka.With the Australian Open in Melbourne less than two weeks away, Williams dropped just one set in her singles matches, although at different times she seemed to be troubled by a right shoulder problem and had both ankles strapped.last_img read more