Frank Lampard could be on his way to the Los Angeles Galaxy, as the MLS club appears to have the edge in the pursuit of the Chelsea midfielder.
Lampard was given permission by Chelsea officials to talk to foreign clubs during the January transfer window after it appeared he would reject a contract extension that would add only one year rather than multiple years. In most cases, the Premier League club’s policy has been to offer one-year contracts to players above age 30. Lampard is 34.
Chris Klein, the Galaxy’s president, told the Los Angeles Times the club was “still in conversations” with Lampard, though reports Monday afternoon state an agreement has been reached.Manager Bruce Arena said the club would make a decision on a “designated player” — one signed outside the league’s salary cap or by paying a transfer fee — in the next week. The MLS champions have been concerned about the status of Landon Donovan, who reportedly had been contemplating retirement at age 30. Galaxy officials said Monday afternoon he will return for this season.
Until matters are finalized, the Galaxy appears to have company in wanting Lampard. Given a recent improvement in form, Milan and Lazio reportedly have expressed interest in Lampard. An early rumor, that he would join his uncle, Harry Redknapp, at Queens Park Rangers, was quashed. With Lampard’s respect for the Chelsea fans — he came to the Blues in 2001 after six seasons at West Ham United — it would be unlikely he would infuriate them by going to another EPL club.
Should he go to Los Angeles, Lampard would join a club that includes former EPL players Robbie Keane, whose 16 goals last season were fourth in the league, and goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, who came from Tottenham on a free transfer at the start of the transfer period. Keane recently signed a 2-year contract extension with the Galaxy.
Lampard has scored 134 goals in 389 EPL matches for Chelsea. He also has tallied 26 in 94 appearances with the English national side since 1999.