Who Will Frank Lampard Join If Leaving Chelsea?

Gary Emmerson@garyemmersonContributor IIJanuary 1, 2013

Who Will Frank Lampard Join If Leaving Chelsea?

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    Frank Lampard is still awaiting a new contract offer from Chelsea and, from New Year’s Day, is free to talk to clubs across the globe about a free transfer move at the end of EPL season.

    Despite his two goals earning a crucial 2-1 win at Everton—strikes which took his goals tally at Chelsea to 192 in 501 club appearances—Lampard remains in the dark about his future at Stamford Bridge. His contract has less than six months to go and he could be about to leave the club he has spent the last 12 seasons with since joining from West Ham in 2001.

    "We haven't been talking about a new contract in the last couple of weeks," Lampard told the BBC after the Everton game. "At the moment nothing has been said and my contract is up in the summer."

    Despite being 34, Lampard has remained a regular in the Chelsea midfield when fit and remains an integral part of Roy Hodgson’s England squad at the international level. And there will be no shortage of destinations awaiting Lampard should he depart Chelsea at the end of the season.

    Here we take a look at some of the options available to him.

1. Manchester United

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    As strange a move as it might seem, Manchester United wouldn’t be the worst destination for Lampard. Sir Alex Ferguson has shown how much respect he has for experienced professionals, as demonstrated by the parts Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and, to a lesser extent, Rio Ferdinand have continued to play in United’s team despite being in the latter years of their careers.

    Lampard would provide another goal-scoring threat and would be ideal to help develop the undoubted talent of Tom Cleverley, who is seen as his natural successor in the England midfield.

2. Paris Saint-Germain

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    The moneybags of European football, French giants Paris Saint-Germain are already in the running to sign Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole, who like Lampard is out of contract at the end of the season. But a move for Lampard himself could well happen with PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti having worked with him at Stamford Bridge.

    Swapping the EPL for Ligue 1 in France is not a typical route for those coming toward the end of their career, but the Ancelotti link and the PSG’s ability to pay big wages mean there is a definite possibility this move could happen.

3. Real Madrid

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    Jose Mourinho is under pressure at Real Madrid with the La Liga title all but beyond them this season after falling too far behind Barcelona. As a result, the Special One is expected to ring the changes this summer.

    An ageing midfielder on a free transfer is probably not high on the list of players Real Madrid fans would be hoping for, but Lampard is someone Mourinho knows well and trusts. Should Mourinho still be in charge at the Bernabeu at the end of the season, then Lampard could well link up with his former boss once again.

4. Los Angeles Galaxy

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    One of the more likely destinations for Lampard is a switch to the MLS. It is Los Angeles Galaxy who are reported to lead the race for his signature as they look to sign a big-name star to replace David Beckham following the end of his contract.

    Lampard is the perfect fit to step into the shoes of Beckham in the playmaker role at Galaxy, where he would link up with former Chelsea teammate Carlo Cudicini, a recent addition, and Robbie Keane.

5. A-League

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    Australia’s A-League has stepped up efforts to improve the popularity of the brand in recent seasons and, just like David Beckham being linked with a move to the franchise, Lampard would be a big catch.

    Robbie Fowler and Michael Bridges, amongst others, have wound down their careers playing in the A-League, while Emile Heskey is currently playing in Australia’s top league with Newcastle Jets. But Lampard would undoubtedly be the biggest name to play in the A-League should he choose this option.