As a decision over Frank Lampard's City future moves ever closer it is unsurprising that Manuel Pellegrini is being asked more and more about it. What has been noticeable though (and this was mentioned by Rob Pollard on a recent Blue Moon podcast) that there has been an increasingly positive drip feed from Pellegrini.
We have moved steadily from it being up in the air, through to a possibility and now that effectively it is being negotiated - even so much as saying after the Leicester that Lampard himself wants to stay.
The expectation now though is surely that he stays longer than his originally agreed date. The question though is for how long? The end of February would provide cover for Yaya Toure's absence but would an additional month provide much effect on City's season in reality. If you were Pellegrini - and this may be what is currently being ‘negotiated' - is that Pellegrini and City are pushing for Lampard to remain until the end of the season.
This though wouldn't put City (and Lampard) in a great light though, and nor should it. Lampard is undoubtedly the marquee presence that New York have hitched their debut season to. To then have the parent (sorry, partner) club ride roughshod over this to suit their whim doesn't position them well and will leave a sour taste towards both City and Lampard himself.
I don't doubt for a minute that all concerned have been surprised at how much of an impact Lampard has managed to have during his stay so far and the minutes he is getting would have likely swayed Lampard towards one last crack at a Premier League title.
Whilst a decision to extend until the end of the season would see City criticised, and not without merit, this would not set a precedent (although this will not be how it is written). The reality is it is unlikely such a situation occurs again where a New York player is deemed to be having, or able to have, such an impact at City that they ride into town and whisk him off to Manchester.
The uniqueness of the situation may mean they are prepared to take whatever hit in terms of negative PR comes their way, possibly also sweetening the deal by announcing a couple of players head the other away for a period of time?