Galaxy, Lampard deal could be taking shape

MANCHESTER, England — Looks as if Frank Lampard could be joining the Galaxy after all.

After failing to find common ground with Brazilian midfielders Ronaldinho, who re-signed with his club team in Belo Horizonte, and Kaka, whose contract with Spain’s Real Madrid has too much time and money remaining for the Galaxy’s tastes, the two-time defending Major League Soccer champions are deep in talks with representatives for Lampard, who scored both goals in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Everton on Sunday.

Lampard, 34, will be a free agent this summer but he said Sunday he hasn’t discussed a new deal with his English Premier League team for at least two weeks. The transfer window opens Tuesday, freeing Lampard to reach pre-contract terms with a foreign club even while he finishes his contract with Chelsea. A move to another Premier League team is also a possibility.

Of course, all that could change after Sunday’s win, Chelsea’s fourth in a row, in which Lampard’s two goals gave him 192 scores for his Chelsea career, one shy of second place on the franchise’s all-time list.

With David Beckham having played his last game in MLS and with captain Landon Donovan still uncertain about his soccer future, the Galaxy could be thin in the midfield, which has traditionally been a strength. Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas, who started 22 games there last season, will be back, as will Mike Magee. Plus the Galaxy added veteran Colin Clark in the re-entry draft two weeks ago and remain hopeful of keeping Juninho, who played the last two seasons on loan from his Brazilian club in Sao Paulo.

Lampard, should he arrive, would provide much-needed depth at the position while, off the field, the team says privately it believes he could provide some of the international star power the team lost when Beckham departed.

Team President Tim Leiweke, who promised the team would sign a third designated player in Beckham’s slot, has long maintained the franchise would focus its attention on an “iconic” player that would resonate with Southern California’s huge Latino population. But that strategy changed when both  Ronaldinho and Kaka suddenly become unattainable.

The team remains interested in Kaka and will revisit that idea again next year, said a Galaxy official who is not authorized to speak publicly on the club’s plans. Lampard, meanwhile, has long expressed an interest in coming to Los Angeles in part because of the opportunities the area could provide for fiancee Christine Bleakley, a TV personality in Great Britain.

-Kevin Baxter