CARSON, Calif. – Steven Gerrard dons the LA Galaxy No. 8 kit but according to Galaxy club president Chris Klein, LA came “really close” to having New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard don that kit back in 2013.
After the departure of David Beckham, the Galaxy had a vacant Designated Player spot which seemed destined to go to the Chelsea legend ahead of the 2013 MLS regular season. However, once Jose Mourinho returned to London, Lampard opted to prolong his stay at Stamford Bridge.
“Really “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?”
But once Lampard appeared ready to leave London, the Galaxy’s interest in the player had passed, opening the door for an eventual move to Manchester City and later New York City FC.
“No. 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.”