The Sweeper: Lampard house-hunting ahead of LA move

The prolific Chelsea midfielder is preparing for a switch to MLS at the end of the season, while Santi Cazorla has been helping compatriot Nacho Monreal settle at Arsenal

TIDYING UP ALL THE LOOSE STORIES IN FOOTBALL THIS WEEK

By Wayne Veysey

LAMPARD BEGINS HOUSE-HUNTING IN LA

Frank Lampard’s run of goal-scoring form either side of the New Year is yet to prompt a formal U-turn in Chelsea’s decision to allow him to leave this summer.

He has been free to negotiate with foreign clubs since January 1 and negotiations are at an advanced stage with LA Galaxy over a move at the end of the English season.

The Sweeper understands that Lampard has now instructed agents to find him a selection of properties to choose from in LA as he prepares for a new life on the west coast.

Lampard is only likely to turn his back on the huge offer on the table from the American club if Chelsea revise their decision to let him leave.

The midfielder was officially told on New Year’s Eve that he was free to find a new club, but Roman Abramovich’s sanctioning of a new contract for Ashley Cole, 32, last month, has prompted hope from Chelsea fans that the club’s owner will do the same with Lampard, who turns 35 in June.

The midfielder’s strike against Wigan Athletic last weekend was his 10th goal in 15 games for club and country and took his Chelsea career haul to 198, just four short of Bobby Tambling’s club record.

CAZORLA AIDS MONREAL ACCLIMATISATION

Such was the last-minute nature of Nacho Monreal’s switch to Arsenal and his hectic schedule, the defender has not had time to sort out living accommodation in England.

The Sweeper understands that Monreal is temporarily staying in the house of Santi Cazorla, his fellow Spain international and former Malaga team-mate who has also been driving him into training every day.

Monreal’s first ten days as an Arsenal player involved getting acquainted with his new team-mates in training, two league matches and a spell on international duty.

The €10 million deadline-day signing was granted dispensation by his new club to return to Spain at the start of the week to sort out his domestic situation.

The 26-year-old, who does not speak any English, is hoping to bring his family over to London to live with him when he has found some permanent accommodation.

PREMIER LEAGUE COULD DUMP DATACO

Football Dataco, the firm responsible for protecting the rights acquired in English and Scottish football league fixtures and match data since 2001, could be about lose its lucrative agreement with the Premier League.

Dataco has seen its revenues – mainly from media organisations and betting operators – slashed by nearly a third from a peak of £9m in 2006-07 to £3.5m in the current season due to legal uncertainty. This culminated in a damaging court defeat last May when EU judges rejected its claim for fixtures to have copyright protection.

The Sweeper has learned that the Premier League is now considering whether to renew its agreement with Dataco, which is due to expire in June.

League chiefs are reviewing whether the firm is still required to look after its interests, although there is an acceptance within the organisation that functions such as media accreditation would still need to be carried out.

It is understood that a series of alternative proposals to renewing with Dataco are now being drawn up by the Premier League.

OLSSON CONTRACT HAS SERIES OF BUY-OUT CLAUSES

Jonas Olsson signed a four-year West Brom contract last October but only did so after a series of release triggers were written into his agreement.

The defender’s deal is believed to have included a January buy-out clause of £3.5m that could be invoked only by a handful of ‘named’ clubs, but a separate release of £7m for all others.

It is written into Olsson’s contract that the buy-out commitments will change in this summer’s window, when the higher fee will be reduced.

Arsenal, who made an enquiry for Olsson last month, are believed to be one of the clubs who could have bought him for £3.5m in January. QPR, who had a bid rejected by West Brom, were not.

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