MANCHESTER -- Manuel Pellegrini has claimed Frank Lampard will be in the Manchester City squad to face Sunderland on New Year's Day as the Premier League champions face a race against time to clinch his signature on an extended deal.
The 36-year-old midfielder's contract expires at the end of 2014 and City will need to secure an extended loan deal from New York City FC for him to remain available.
City are confident that Lampard will stay as Pellegrini reiterated his keenness to keep Chelsea's record goalscorer for the rest of the campaign and suggested an announcement was imminent.
Pellegrini said in a news conference: "He is in the squad list for tomorrow [Thursday].
"I said during December we will know what happened with the future of Frank Lampard. It is important for him to stay with us. Today we finish December. I hope today we will have news."
City's need for Lampard is greatest during January and early February when Yaya Toure will be at the African Nations Cup.
But Pellegrini said: "I hope [he will stay] until the end of the season."
Fellow midfielder Toure will be available for two more games, against Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup, before he links up with Ivory Coast.
Pellegrini added: "Yaya must go on Jan. 5. He can play this week, tomorrow and on Sunday."
Pellegrini attempted to clarify, saying: "Just [for the] last game I think it was a risk for him, he was not 100 percent recovered but he doesn't have any other problems."
City will again be without injured strikers Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko and captain Vincent Kompany, who has missed their last three games and will sit out their next two matches.
"I don't think Vincent will be fit [for Sunderland or Sheffield Wednesday]," Pellegrini said. "Against Everton, he will be available."