How close did Frank Lampard come to joining the LA Galaxy?
“Really close” is the answer from Galaxy club president Chris Klein.
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Ahead of LA’s clash with Lampard’s New York City FC on Sunday, Klein revealed that Lampard changed his mind about a move to Major League Soccer before the start of the 2013 season as it became apparent that Jose Mourinho would be returning as Chelsea’s new manager.
Via LA’s website, here’s what he had to say on Lampard nearly joining LA and how the deal unraveled:
“It was a couple years ago and we came close. He’s a very good player and a good guy, he was someone that we talked to for a long time. Timing just didn’t work out on both sides. We’re happy that he’s here and we’re happy that he’s in the league. It didn’t fall out over money or someone not wanting to be there. They had changes [at Chelsea] when Mourinho went back there and they wanted him to stay. He’s a valuable player as a leader and as a player on the field so he decided to stay. He’s a Chelsea legend and who could blame him for that?”
“After that we moved on, we didn’t have [Designated Player] spots, and New York took an interest. Ultimately, we think a lot of Frank as a player and a professional but New York had an interest and they were the ones that ultimately ended up going after them.”
Ahead of their game this Sunday, this should add a little spice to proceedings as old foes Steven Gerrard and Lampard face off once again.
Here’s an in-depth look from SportsWorld at how Gerrard and Lampard’s rivalry developed over the past two decades with Liverpool and Chelsea, as the two former England internationals will square off in MLS for the one and only time this season on Sunday.