And now a move to play at Derby has been deemed impossible by his old friend.
"John's a great player, a great person. He would be great for any club," said Lampard.
"What I had to do when I came here is prioritise in where we want to move.
"We had to sell the top goalscorer in the league [Matej Vydra]. I say, 'we had to sell', we sold him to make room and make changes in general, to bring in more options going forward in attacking areas.
"We had to do that, so we have to refill those goals. Then you have to look at what you've got. I've got Curtis Davies here, Richie Keogh, who made his 300th appearance.
"I brought in (Fikayo) Tomori as we need some youth to help us there. It simply was a door that wasn't really open. We had to cut the wage bill.
"But we have to think about wage bill, the players we've got and the priority of the squad. It's as simple as that.
"John will be brilliant at whatever he does. The choices should be and will be his now, when you're a legend of the game and work so hard, he can play on, do media, he can manage, and he'll do it very well."