The Los Angeles Galaxy and MLS have confirmed that David Beckham will be leaving the league at season's end, opening the door for the long rumored Frank Lampard move to MLS.
We've been hearing the rumors of Frank Lampard to the Los Angeles Galaxy for quite some time, but they generally haven't made any sense. The Galaxy already employed three "designated players", meaning that they didn't have an available spot on their roster to offer Frank Lampard a substantial salary to join them. While Los Angeles seemed a reasonable destination for the end of Lampard's career, one of Robbie Keane, David Beckham, or Landon Donovan would have to move on before the club could potentially add the Chelsea midfielder.
That sticking point to a move seems to have disappeared today, as MLS have announced that the MLS Cup will be Beckham's final game with the Galaxy. Come January, the US based club will have an available designated player spot available for the Chelsea legend. While there has been no reliable hint of a Lampard move as of yet, a major obstacle to that move has now been effectively removed.
It's important to note that this does not mean a move will actually happen in January, as Chelsea are drastically short on central midfielders capable of playing in a deeper role as it is. It will be worth watching, however, as if Chelsea do add to the midfield, they could well decide to let Lampard leave in January. That said, a summer transfer after Lampard's Chelsea contract expires still seems far more likely at this point if a transfer happens at all.
Update: As I was writing this, the fun has begun...
Word is that Lampard to LA Galaxy is "all but done". Just haggling over arrival time as Lamps wants to finish season with Chelsea#MLS— Adrian Healey (@AdrianHealey) November 20, 2012
Healey is usually pretty reliable, so this is certainly worth noting