The LA Galaxy are “looking forward to perhaps signing another Designated Player” to replace the spot vacated by David Beckham according to club head coach and general manager Bruce Arena, but just who that player might be is still a point of debate.
Two names have risen to the cusp over the last month—English midfielder Frank Lampard and Brazilian playmaker Kaká. In conversations with sources across the league and by reading various reports, I’m getting the impression that Lampard has surpassed the Brazilian as LA’s primary Designated Player target.
“We do not have a deal with Frank Lampard," Carlisle’s source stated. "We continue to speak with him as we have stated, but nothing is done or 'all but done'."
The ESPN FC source within the Galaxy added that, "The [Goal.com] report, in its context, is not accurate. The process is ongoing and we will see where it goes."
However, before you think that this means that Lampard is bound for Los Angeles, there are a few other factors to account for. Primarily, the fact that Lampard has repeatedly said that Chelsea would be his first option due to his extensive history at club where he has scored 195 goals -- he scored on Sunday's victory over Arsenal -- over his 10-year career with the Blues. Even Lampard's own teammates have questioned whether or not Chelsea management would be wise to offer him a contact extension. Also, the 34-year-old midfielder has been linked with teams across Europe including Italian giants AC Milan and Juventus while according to the British tabloid, the Daily Mail, Lampard may put his goal of reaching 100 appearances for England at risk if he does not sign with a team in Europe.
As for Kaká? According to Spain’s Marca, Real Madrid rejected an eight million dollar bid from LA for the Brazilian. Arena admitted that the LA Galaxy have had discussions with the player, who was identified by AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke as the Galaxy’s chief target back in December, but the news comes amid reports that the Brazilian midfielder may be bound for a return to his former club AC Milan.
With Lampard appearing far more likely at this moment, does that mean the longtime Chelsea midfielder will play for LA in 2013? That remains to be seen as this saga is far from over, but he appears to be the Galaxy’s Designated Player target at the moment.