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MLS chief unaware of Lampard talks

ESPN staff
October 11, 2012 « Toon eye Brazil tour in plans to expand global appeal | Chartbeat test »
Don Garber talks Frank Lampard and Clint Dempsey

The commissioner of Major League Soccer, Don Garber, insists he is unaware of any substantiated moves by the league's franchises for the services of Frank Lampard.

Lampard, 34, has less than a year left on his Chelsea contract and could sign a pre-contract agreement in January with a view to moving to MLS in the summer.

Speculation over the midfielder's future intensified in September when Lampard's representative, Steve Kutner, was spotted at an LA Galaxy game, where David Beckham currently plies his trade. However, Garber - who admits he would love to see Lampard in MLS - says there are currently no talks taking place that he is aware of.

"I get asked more about Frank Lampard here than I do in the US, I don't think many people there know who he is - that's what we're dealing with," Garber said.

"Frank's a great player. I haven't heard about any of our clubs talking to him... I've heard rumours about his interest or MLS interest but what a great player. It'd be great to see him in Major League Soccer.

"But I'm not aware of any talks going on."

The MLS commissioner would be involved in any future negotiations involving Lampard and MLS due to the player needing an exemption from the league's salary cap. However, Garber revealed that he was yet to be contacted.

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

Garber also said it would be a dream to see recent Tottenham signing Clint Dempsey return to his native country. Dempsey is currently recognised as the top US footballer, but Garber claims the Spurs man is doing big things for MLS football regardless of where he builds his career.

"For me personally I'd love to have Clint Dempsey in Major League Soccer. To have the top American playing in our league and being an idol across the country would be good for MLS.

"That being said, having him play at a top club and being one of the top Premier League goalscorers last year - being sought after by Liverpool and Tottenham - all those things add value.

"But personally, I want to have Clint Dempsey on the front page of the New York Times and on SportsCenter every night."

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