Manchester City will step up its effort to extend New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard's stay at the club following City midfielder Yaya Toure's commitment to play for Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations, The Guardian reports.
The Africa Cup of Nations begins on Jan. 17, with the final to be played on Feb. 8. After Ivory Coast drew with Cameroon on Wednesday, Toure said he would play in the tournament, according to the report.
Major League Soccer expansion club New York City FC, which is partially owned by Manchester City, signed Lampard in July. The longtime Chelsea midfielder was promptly loaned to Manchester City until January, but Lampard's play has fueled speculation that the defending Premier League champion might want to extend the Englishman's loan.
NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis said in September that there was "no truth" to rumors about extending Lampard's loan, though Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini did not ruled out an extended stay when he was asked about it in September.
The expansion MLS club was also reportedly considering holding training camp in Manchester to accommodate a potential Lampard loan extension.
Manchester City currently sits in third place in the Premier League table with 21 points. New York City FC is set to make its debut in March, when the 2015 MLS season begins.
- Stanley Kay