Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard will not be heading to Melbourne City as his long-anticipated move to MLS side New York City was finally confirmed on Thursday.
Lampard has penned a two-year-deal with the franchise, who are owned by Premier League champions Manchester City, who also own the Victorian A-League club.
According to News Corp reports, a New York City spokesperson was asked whether Lampard may still be coming to the A-League. He replied: "There are no plans in place for Frank to come to Melbourne."
The news is a blow to the competition, despite Melbourne City gaining the services of Spanish goalscoring sensation David Villa - also a New York City player - on what is probably a 10-match guest stint that wil finish just before the new MLS season commences.
The competition would have been looking to build on the news of Villa's signing and an inspiring World Cup performance from the Socceroos by having a player of Lampard's drawing power in the competition. Yet it appears unlikely that either he, or Tim Cahill - a Sydney FC target - will be playing on these shores in the next season.
Lampard, though, will head to the United States ahead of their first season in the competition in 2015.
The 36-year-old has been without a club since he left Chelsea in June after a successful 13-season stay with the Premier League giants.
Chelsea's all-time leading goalscorer represented England during their disappointing World Cup campaign in Brazil, making one appearance in the 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in their final group fixture.
Lampard said: "Having spoken to the people from the club here and seeing the vision, I'm not talking about a franchise hoping things come off, I've seen a real long term plan and I want to be a part of that.
"I want to be that leader - I want to be that person - not just on the pitch but off the pitch too."
Lampard was also quizzed on his England prospects after moving to the States, and revealed he would be coming to a decision over his international future.
"I had a bit of time after the World Cup which was a huge disappointment," the veteran midfielder added.
"I know I need to think about England, I know need to think about that but it won’t be long now I know where I’m playing my football I can make that decision."
Lampard said he would have to find other ways to keep in shape prior to the MLS season beginning.
"I'm going to keep fit," he explained. "How I'll do that is not clear yet I’m going to sit with [director of football operations] Claudio [Reyna] and [head coach] Jason [Kreiss] and find the best way forward."comments