Lampard welcome in MLS - Garber

  • Last Updated: October 11 2012, 15:50 BST

Frank Lampard would be welcomed with open arms in Major League Soccer, according to the American league's boss.

Frank Lampard: Interest from MLS clubs, says Garber

Lampard is in the final year of his Chelsea contract and speculation is rife he will not be offered anything longer than a one-year extension.

The 34-year-old England midfielder has long been linked with a lucrative move to the United States, most notably as a replacement for David Beckham at Los Angeles Galaxy.

And MLS commissioner Don Garber insisted on Thursday afternoon there would be no shortage of suitors were Lampard to make it known he wanted to end his career in America.

Garber said: "Frank Lampard's a great player. He has a great history with the sport.

"If he decides he wants to play in Major League Soccer, I'm sure any club would be happy to have him on their roster."

Garber was speaking at the Leaders in Football Conference at Stamford Bridge and asked if he would exploit that opportunity, he joked: "I'll go into the locker room and see if I can chat him up..."

Garber claimed he was not aware of any of his clubs making an approach for Lampard, confirming he would be involved in any negotiations if one of them did because the player would would need an exemption from the MLS salary cap.

"Frank would probably fall in the 'Designated Player' category," Garber added.

"That's a discussion that starts with ownership at the local level, and the league certainly would be involved at some point.

"But a local team owner would have to decide that they would want him on their team."


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Garber was also hopeful Beckham could be persuaded to play on close to his forties.

The former England captain, 37, signed a new two-year contract at the start of 2012 and revealed he planned to exercise an option to become an owner of an MLS team.

Garber said: "David has been a great, great ambassador for our league and people like him, people love watching him, ESPN Sports Center loves showing his highlights.

"I hope he becomes the iron man and can play for many more years.

"He does have an opportunity to be an owner of a team in time. We'll continue to talk to him, when he's ready to retire, about that opportunity.

"That discussion really isn't relevant until he retires."

He added: "We would love to have a continued relationship with David in any capacity that he and his family would like.

"He has the opportunity to be part of an ownership group. My guess is he's probably going to pursue that."