Swansea City manager Paul Clement tried to sign Frank Lampard before the former Chelsea midfielder announced his retirement on Thursday.
Lampard, 38, called time on his glittering career, in which he scored 302 goals in 1,019 appearances, after ending his playing days with New York City FC in the autumn.
But Chelsea’s record goalscorer could have returned to the Premier League recently after Clement, who worked with Lampard when he was Chelsea’s assistant manager, attempted to take him to the Liberty Stadium following his appointment in January.
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Lampard has another connection with Swansea after spending time on loan there early in his career, but that wasn’t enough to persuade the former England international to join the Welsh club.
“We had a chat. I think he appreciated that I called him because of our relationship,” Clement said.
“I am not saying it got close in any way, but we had a conversation. It did not go very far, but it would have been nice. It would have been good.
“His ability as a player we all know about. But he is also a very good leader and character and a fantastic professional.”
Lampard was sent out on loan to Swansea by West Ham United in October 1995 when he was 17 years old.
He ended up making 11 appearances for Swansea, scoring one goal, and told Clement how he enjoyed his time at a club who were then in the third tier of English football.
“I spoke to him about his time here,” Clement said. “It was a long time ago now when he was at West Ham. But he spoke really fondly of the club and the people who were here.”
* Agence France-Presse
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