Bruce Arena says LA Galaxy tried to get Frank Lampard before snatching Gerrard

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Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is on his way to Los Angeles to suit up for the first time as a Galaxy designated player. According to manager Bruce Arena, however, that wasn’t always their plan.

LA’s title-winning coach said the club put forth a serious effort to bring in former Chelsea and Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard – Gerrard’s one-time England midfielder partner.

“We recruited Frank pretty hard here,” Arena told The Mirror. “The deal was close. We talk to pretty much every single player that is interested in coming to the U.S. and certainly when you hear Frank Lampard is willing, you’re gonna have a lengthy conversation.”

Many have claimed, using last season’s performances as evidence, that Lampard could out-shine Gerrard as their careers both inch towards closure. Gerrard looked a step behind the play in his last campaign for Liverpool, while Lampard plowed his way through the midfield for Manchester City – often off the bench, but still seemingly more effective. Now, we know Gerrard may not have been LA’s first choice for a big Premier League splash.

“I got to know Frank and visited him in London and he’s a fabulous person and player and he’s really going to help football here in America. He’s going to do really well.”

It’s unclear why Lampard couldn’t strike a deal with Arena. Now, instead of joining LA, Lampard will move to NYCFC, owned by the same company whom he played for at Manchester City in his final Premier League gig.