Frank Lampard leaving Chelsea, could be N.Y.-bound

Chelsea's Frank Lampard acknowledges the crowd following their FA Cup match against Stoke City at...

Chelsea's Frank Lampard acknowledges the crowd following their FA Cup match against Stoke City at Stamford Bridge in London January 26, 2014. (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

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, Last Updated: 3:22 PM ET

Chelsea's all-time record goalscorer Frank Lampard announced on Monday he was leaving the Londoners after a 13-year spell with the Stamford Bridge club.

The England World Cup midfielder, who joined the Premier League club from London rivals West Ham United in 2001 for a fee of 11 million pounds ($18.43 million), scored 209 goals in all competitions for Chelsea.

"Whatever the next challenge is for me I will always be amongst you and have Chelsea in my heart," Lampard told the club's fans in a statement.

"Hopefully I will get to see you all soon to say goodbye properly. In the meantime thank you for the memories and keep making history."

Lampard, who turns 36 on June 20 and will be England's vice-captain at the World Cup in Brazil, has been linked with a move to new Major League Soccer franchise New York City.

The New York club announced earlier on Monday that Spain World Cup forward David Villa had signed on a three-year deal from Atletico Madrid.

Lampard won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League with Chelsea.

"When I arrived at this fantastic club 13 years ago I would never have believed that I would be fortunate enough to play so many games and enjoy sharing in so much success," he said.

"This club has become part of my life and I have so many people to thank for the opportunity. Firstly (former chairman) Ken Bates, who put his neck on the line to sign me as a young player and without him I would not have even begun this experience.

"Roman Abramovich, the man who saved our club and took us all to new levels. His desire to push the club to the top of the football world has rubbed off on everyone," he added, referring to the Russian billionaire who bought the club in 2003.


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