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Why Chelsea hero may turn out for the enemy before MLS switch

| 02.06.2014

When household name footballers reach a certain age they become expendable commodities in the Premier League, but valuable assets in other parts of the world.

David Beckham and Thierry Henry are two early examples of players who moved to America’s MLS to extend their careers while earning a pretty penny, while Didier Drogba trialled the Chinese league albeit for a short time.

For Chelsea’s ageing heroes Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard, the lures of America are surely stronger than ever before, with their time at Chelsea either over or on the verge of being so.

As far as the latter is concerned, a switch to the MLS could be made sooner than expected as rumours gather pace that New York City FC are poised to land the goalscoring midfielder.

Should the soon-to-be-active franchise, who will make their debut in the league in the 2015 season, land Lampard then it will pose a few problems to the former West Ham man’s loyalty.

New York City’s rights are 80 per cent owned by City Football Group, the holding company created to establish a pool of linked clubs with Manchester City all around the world.

With the MLS season not starting until March, Lampard would be without any competitive football between the end of the World Cup, where he is 16/1 to be England’s top scorer, and his potential New York debut.

It’s quite possible then, that the Bronx-based club could loan Lampard to Manchester City leading up to the MLS kick off, to allow him to get up to match fitness.

Should that happen, it would put Lampard in great danger of breaking a promise he made recently when he declared he’d never face Chelsea as a member of another Premier League side, but that could well be taken out of his hands.

Grand plans are being made for New York City’s league bow, with David Villa thought to have been lured away from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid to sign for the club.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.