Frank Lampard intends to speak to the England manager, Roy Hodgson, before determining where he will play his club football next season, with the Chelsea midfielder convinced he could join a side outside Europe and still justify his place in the national squad.
The 34-year-old, who registered his 200th Chelsea goal on Sunday, is out of contract at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season and, while a formal offer of a new deal could yet materialise in the months ahead, he will have no shortage of alternative options abroad. LA Galaxy have made their interest known yet Hodgson had admitted after last month's victory over Brazil that it would "complicate matters" in terms of the midfielder's potential involvement at the 2014 World Cup if Lampard moved to a club on the other side of the globe.
Asked whether the manager's comments might prompt him to discount a move to Major League Soccer, Lampard said: "I don't think it rules out anything. I haven't had the conversation with the manager about it, but I've seen players get picked before who were playing all over the world. If there's ever a time, whenever it is, where there's an option of going outside Europe, I'm sure I would have the conversation with Roy about that. It would be something we would speak about.
"I'm aware of England [as an issue when it comes to determining his future]. I wouldn't set my sights past the Brazil World Cup, but if I'm playing and in good enough form, I'd like to be included. My future is not clear at the minute. What I do know at the minute is, wherever I play and whatever I do, I will try and play at a level that keeps me involved with England as long as possible. I'd respect what [Hodgson] says. Of course I would. First and foremost I have to make the right decision for myself before anyone else, but I'd respect what he says."
Lampard currently stands on 94 caps and 27 goals, and is expected to start Friday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino in Rimini as he closes in on becoming the eighth player to complete a century of appearances for England. "I watched Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole reach it recently and it's a fantastic achievement," he said. "I grew up on tales of Bobby Moore, and he's the ultimate England player, but I also looked at the lists a few years back and saw David Platt and Bryan Robson, people I really respect, up there. I'm so pleased to be among those names and, if I could get into that bracket of 100 caps, I'd be very proud.
"Roy has told me that his key player back at the 1994 World Cup with Switzerland was a 36-year-old (Georges Bregy). It's nice to hear. If players are performing for you, their age shouldn't really matter, especially because the older players can bring their experience to the table. As long as they're good influences in the dressing room and help the players around them... Look at Ryan Giggs: Alex Ferguson, probably the best manager of all time, plays him at almost 40 against Real Madrid. If you've got experience and you're good enough, managers will give you that opportunity."