With it becoming increasingly likely that Frank Lampard will not be a Chelsea player next season speculation is mounting over where his future may actually be. So is it just LA Galaxy who want him state-side or could he go elsewhere?
Frank Lampard has launched a defence in regards to a potential move to Major League Soccer. The Chelsea midfielder is out of contract in the summer and the club seem reluctant to offer the talismanic 34-year-old a new deal; despite his excellent form.
After being questioned of the potential impact on his international career in regards to a trans-Atlantic move Lamps had this to say:
"England will always be a big part of any decision I make, while I'm available for England - and I certainly am now and in the future - I want to do my best to try to put myself in the squad. [But] I don't think it rules out anything, including America.’’
So where in the MLS could he go?
Sure we may like to think that the salary caps and designated player systems make it a pretty level playing field state-side but the fact remains some teams will be more likely to snap Frank up in the summer.
Here are five potential locations…
Los Angeles Galaxy
The most obvious potential deal would see Lampard joining up with the side that signed the first ever designated player David Beckham.
Lampard is said to know and like the area; he even got engaged to current romantic interest and Dancing on Ice presenter Christine Bleakley in the City of Angels.
The club already have Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan as designated players but considering their wealth accommodating a third DP slot should not be an issue.
The side are also the two-time reigning MLS Cup champions so Lampard could expect some silverware in California.
New York Red Bulls
The next biggest franchise in the MLS would have to be the Red Bulls. Backed by the giant Austrian energy drink company they would certainly have the lure of a team on the up for Lampard to consider.
However they already have Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry on huge DP contracts so may struggle to accommodate Lampard at this stage.
For the past two seasons the team who has had to live in the shadows of LA Galaxy has been Houston Dynamo; and they have done so on a much less extravagant roster.
Their only current DP is Oscar Boniek Garcia and his compensation is low meaning they could find room for a big-name star with some clever trading.
Fellow Englishman Giles Barnes and Andrew Driver are already at the club which could also sway Lampard to join the AEG owned Texas outfit.
The Canadian side have just lost their most celebrated DP after the retirement of German international Torsten Frings due to persistent hip problems.
Lampard could be just the ticket to fill the void.
Certainly LA, Houston and Toronto are on the look-out for big name players for next season with the likes of Kaka and Robinho also being mentioned but Lampard could prove a valuable acquisition for any current MLS side.
Which brings us to the wildcard option…???
There has been talk of expanding the MLS to 20 teams for the 2014 season. While many a location has been mentioned including El Paso, Sacramento, Orlando and Miami the MLS is keen on having a team based in New York City; rather than the Red Bulls who despite their name are based in New Jersey.
The likelihood is that team would be….
New York Cosmos
The fashionable side that once signed Pele, Beckenbauer and Cruyff and earned a worldwide cult following are expected to return as soon as possible with 2014 the earliest possible date.
Lampard could sign a deal in the summer to play there from March 2014 and continue his football elsewhere for that period of time; wherever that may be.
Where do you think Frank Lampard will end up?