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The ex-Chelsea star has signed for New York City FC but may sign a short-term loan deal with the Premier League champions and his former coach thinks the move is a smart one

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti believes Frank Lampard would be an astute signing for Manchester City as the veteran midfielder nears a loan move to the Etihad Stadium.

The 36-year-old was released by Chelsea this summer and signed a two-year deal with New York City FC in June, a fledgling MLS franchise owned by both the Premier League champions and baseball side the New York Yankees.

But, with the American side’s season not beginning until March 2015, Lampard is set to join Manuel Pellegrini’s side on a short-term loan deal to maintain his fitness levels in the meantime.

And Ancelotti, who oversaw Lampard’s highest-scoring campaign while manager at Stamford Bridge, believes the England international would be an asset to City - and even joked that he would have liked to bring him to Madrid.

“I didn’t know this. I’m really surprised because I thought he was coming here to the USA to play,” said Ancelotti, who is in Michigan to face Manchester United, when told about reports linking Lampard with a move to the Etihad.

“It’s too late for me to take him to Madrid but I’m really happy for Frank as I have a good memory of him. I wish him luck. He’s a good signing for Manchester City.”

Lampard spent two years playing under Ancelotti, a spell which saw Chelsea win the Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield before the Italian boss was axed after a trophyless campaign in 2011.