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Frank Lampard to stay at Manchester City through end of season

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New York City FC is getting, predictably, shafted by their parent club.

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It was so predictable it hurts: New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard won't be joining the new MLS franchise until the middle of the upcoming season, as Manchester City will keep him through the end of their campaign.

New York City FC can confirm that Frank Lampard’s stay with Manchester City has been extended up to the end of Manchester City’s season, enabling his continued participation in both domestic and European campaigns.

The Club can also confirm that he will therefore not be joining the New York City FC’s squad for the beginning of the MLS 2015 season. His preparations for the forthcoming MLS campaign will see him contribute to Manchester City FC in all competitions of the ongoing season.

His exact starting date with New York City FC will be confirmed as the EPL and MLS seasons unfold.

-Source: NYCFC.com

This is the outcome that NYCFC fans have feared since Lampard first went to City. Since the EPL giants co-own NYCFC with the New York Yankees, there has long been a feeling that Manchester City would exploit that relationship, fears that were not eased at all when they started making noise months ago about possibly keeping Lampard longer than originally planned. This will, for many, serve as proof that the English side only sees NYCFC as a farm team of sorts, good only for stashing talent in case of need.

The deal was originally sold publicly as a loan deal to keep Lampard fit ahead of NYCFC's inaugural season, but it's not a loan. Manchester City actually own his contract, and it's likely that he was never contracted to the MLS club at all. Despite this, it says that Lampard was signed by NYCFC in July on the club's website.

Lampard has played in 17 matches for Manchester City across all competitions, mostly serving as a super-sub as he's started just five matches. He's scored six goals despite those limited minutes, though, and has been a big part of City's successes this season. NYCFC fans had hoped Lampard would be able to join their team for season preparations soon and carry over that fine form, but now they'll have to wait until May, at least, before he joins up.

Manchester City fans will be happy that a major part of this season's squad will be sticking around. New York City FC fans, however, will be left wondering about the structure and direction of their team, and just how important it will be to those who own it. This can't been seen as a good sign by the MLS club, with the shape of their future suddenly in much more doubt than it was before. Let's just hope the relationship proves more productive than the Chivas de Guadalajara/Chivas USA relationship was.