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Frank Lampard To United?

The rumour of Frank Lampard to Manchester United has been doing the rounds again, a year after we first heard the Chelsea vice-captain was linked to us. Back then, Lampard had 18 months remaining on his contract and it appeared as though the club were still keen to negotiate an extension. Still, with time running out, there was some speculation that Chelsea would be prepared to sell him to recoup some money, rather than allow him to leave on a free the following year.

Ferguson was asked about the chances of a deal being done. He was quick to dismiss the reports whilst still flattering the player, calling him one of Chelsea’s best players.

“You are not going to tell me Chelsea would sell Frank Lampard to Manchester United in January. Do you really believe that?” he said. “There is no foundation to that. Chelsea are like us. They want to do something. The second half of the season is going to be important to them. If they want to try and win the league they will need to have all their best players.”

A year has gone by and now it appears as though Lampard will definitely be leaving Chelsea. They have recently adopted the policy which only allows them to extend the contract by a year if the player is over 30-years-old and no doubt would be reducing the player’s wages. Lampard’s agent has confirmed that Chelsea won’t be offering him a new deal, likely because they are not prepared to meet the wage demands, so he’s looking for a new club.

The obvious move would be one abroad, after spending years kissing Chelsea’s badge and breaking a host of records at the club. The fans at Stamford Bridge refer to him as a “legend” so it’s hard for players like that to remain in the same league. LA Galaxy had been tipped as favourites and the move to America would suit his career well. He would get a longer contract, meaning he had greater security, and they’d no doubt pay him top dollar.

However, United have apparently made enquiries about the possibility of him joining us, which gives Lampard a lot to think about. Whilst he won’t want to sour his reputation at Chelsea, how many players get the opportunity to play for Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United? He’s not an idiot. These are once in a lifetime offers and with his playing career coming to an end, is he really prepared to miss out on something as big as United?

Another issue is the fact he has a fiancee and children based in England, making a move abroad not as simple as it would look, particularly one that is an 11 hour plane journey from London.

Whilst it’s now apparent that the club are interested in signing him, what should the fans make of it?

We’ve been here before a few summers ago when the manager made the bonkers decision to bring in Michael Owen. Whilst our feelings of dislike for Lampard come nothing close to how we felt about the former Liverpool player, they are comparable in the sense that both players were strongly associated with a rival, one historically and one for the title, and both are past their best.

Still, Lampard has managed 10 goals for club and country this season, which shows there’s life in the old dog yet. I suppose the fact five of those have come from the penalty spot makes more sense of that statistic, but the two goals he scored away at Everton in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory a couple of weeks ago are nothing to be scoffed at. It’s more than any of our players managed at Goodison Park!

“Thirty-two now is not what it was 10 years ago,” Lampard said in 2011. “Hopefully I can perform well into my thirties. The Giggses, Scholeses have all gone on and played well into their later 30s. I would love to be able to do that.”

There’s probably another season or two that you could have from him that would be worth taking him for. He’ll get you a few goals, add something to the midfield and give us an option. If it’s a choice between playing Giggs in the centre of midfield or Lampard, I know which I’d go for.

Why we took the gamble on Owen, and why we’re interested in Lampard, is because what comes with signing players of that calibre, even if they’re not as good as they used to be, is professionalism and experience. Having players who have been there, done it and won it all are great to have in the dressing room, particularly when you’re keen to bring through young talent as we are.

I don’t like Lampard, it’s rare for fans to have any time for the best players who represent your title rivals, but I wouldn’t be totally opposed to the signing. He’s no John Terry or Luis Suarez. He has a big decision to make and if he decides that he will risk the wrath of Chelsea fans to play for Manchester United, then he’ll go up in my estimations. If he fancies an easier (and better paid) life in Los Angeles, then fair play to him.  

Either way, it’s not something for us to get too worked up over. I’d rather us have a player of his quality and experience in the squad than not, but on the shopping list of ideal midfielders, he would feature a long way down. He would have to be on reasonably good money, which would make sense given that we’d get him on a free, but I would rather we spent that on a player approaching his peak, rather than one that is past it.

Time will tell…


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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206 Comments

  1. Costas says:

    Stateside Aussie with 2 belters as King Eric would say…

  2. Marq says:

    @Costas

    Exactly. Its a catch 21 situation. Do we go out there and get someone good, and permanently shunt the path of Ando, Clev & maybe even Tunni? Or do we go for the stop gap and put our faith in them? Of course a club of our size should not be waiting for things to happen, or you could argue that if Ando or Clev is really good enough, they would be able to shift any established players. We are not talking about being a squad player here, we are talking about who is going to start the big games. All ifs & buts here.

    However, if you ask me, a choice between a free Lampard or a 22m Fellaini, its Fellaini anytime. But I doubt it would be that price, probably closer to 30m.

  3. StatesideAussie says:

    Costas … cheers mate. Takes a bit to wind me up, but this certainly does it. I might have welcomed a player like Lampard when he was 24, 25 or even 26. But would he have joined us then? Like fuck he would. Picture it:

    Frank comes home and closes front door behind him. A female voice calls out: “That you, love?”
    “Yeah, I’m home. You alright?”
    “Yeah. Hey, had a call for you earlier. You’ll never guess who it was.”
    “Go on then, tell me!”
    “Stop yelling at me across the house and come in here.”
    “OK”
    (Frank enters bedroom room where missus is on bed with John Terry’s poxy white pimpled arse pumping up and down between her raised thighs) “Hello John,” says Frank. Terry grunts a reply. Then, Frank says to his missus, “So who was it?”
    “Sir Alex Ferguson! You know, the one with the trophy cabinet, that’s the one …well, he wants to talk to you”
    “Well if he calls back, tell him to fuck off, will ya?”
    “Sure love”
    “Good. Hey John, when you’re done, we’ll go for a beer, yeah?”
    I mean, fuck me.

  4. Costas says:

    @Marq

    I think FITB summed it up best when he said that the age gap between the experienced players and the young players is too big. We only have 2 midfilders in their prime years (Anderson and Fletcher) and like you said, there are many question marks about them. And in my opinion, Fergie has persisted with them (as well as Scholes and Giggs) for so long because the inevitable midfield revamp will be very costly. Carrick also won’t be around forever so we are talking about 2-3 new acquisitions over the next few years to compliment Tom, Ando (if he finally manages to stay fit long term) and Tunni (if he makes the grade). Will these new players stand in the way of Cleverley and Tunnicliffe? Who knows? If they are good enough, they will eventually get plenty of starts. Look at how many games Butt got and he had Keane and Scholes as his direct competition.

    @Stateside Aussie

    :lol: Hilarious yet potentially very true. My problem is also about the message it sends. Like you said, United shouldn’t be the next step for players not good enough for Chelsea anymore. There are some things that potray you as inferior to your competition and you never resort to them. Taking photos of their cunt captain lifting the Ch.League trophy is one. Signing their rejects is another.

  5. parryheid says:

    As has been proved over the last min three years we are buying fuckall midfielders (and we need Two now) so far we have had the stunt the growth of Morrison Pogbha,Fletcher will be returning later in the year and lastly I’m happy with what we have,no signings this tear excuses.Well I’m not happy with what we’ve got,we badly need midfielders and I say grab what’s going.it’s just wages fucks sake any fee would be minimal and regardless what some say he is a fucking good player.

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