Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has revealed how the franchise came close to securing a deal to sign Frank Lampard following the midfielder's exit from Chelsea.
Former England international Lampard secured legendary status in addition by capturing three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League during a hugely successful 13-year stint at Stamford Bridge, but bid an emotional farewell to the club last summer after his contract expired.
A move to New York City FC was confirmed in July 2014, with the 37-year-old initially believed to have signed a two-year deal with the Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion outfit as reported by BBC Sport before heading back to England for a six-month loan spell with affiliate club Manchester City.
Lampard is finally set to link up with New York on 1 July following much confusion regarding his contract situation, but Arena has revealed that the player could have continued his illustrious career on the west coast of the US after a committed recruiting campaign from Galaxy.
"We recruited Frank pretty hard here," the American, who also occupies the role of general manager at StubHub center, told The Mirror. "The deal was close.
"We talk to pretty much every single player that is interested in coming to the US and certainly when you hear Frank Lampard is willing, you're gonna have a lengthy conversation.
"I got to know Frank and visited him in London and he's a fabulous person and player and he's really going to help football here in America. He's going to do really well."
While they obviously failed to seal that particular deal, the Galaxy did eventually succeed in enticing another experienced English top-flight midfielder to LA with Liverpool stalwart Steven Gerrard announcing in January that he had agreed an 18-month contract to link-up with former teammate Robbie Keane at the five-time MLS Cup winners.
Gerrard has yet to make his debut, but Sky Sports reported last month that he is likely to feature for David Beckham's former side during the International Champions Cup match against Club America in California on 11 July.