Football: LA Galaxy confirm Gerrard arrival

Football: LA Galaxy confirm Gerrard arrival

LONDON - Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena has confirmed that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will join the club in July, in an LA Times interview cited by British media on Wednesday.

"Steven Gerrard arrives in July and by then we will certainly have a plan available," Arena told the newspaper.

Gerrard, 34, announced last Friday that he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, ending a 25-year association with the club that has seen him make 696 appearances and score 182 goals.

Press reports claim Gerrard will sign an 18-year contract, with British media outlets suggesting it will be worth around £6 million ($9.1 million, 7.6 million euros).

The move to the Galaxy will reunite Gerrard with his old Liverpool team-mate Robbie Keane and see him follow in the footsteps of former England colleague David Beckham, who spent five years at the California club.

Arena added: "He's a player of quality. I'm not concerned about how he's going to fit in with our team.

"We have a club now with a proven history of success. All those things go hand in hand in making LA Galaxy a very attractive team for players such as Steven Gerrard." Gerrard told the newspaper the move was a "match made in heaven".

"One of the reasons I chose LA Galaxy was because of the success they've had recently," he said. "I want to finish my career very strong. I want to add some medals and trophies to my collection." The Galaxy won their fifth MLS title in December and have a vacancy to fill thanks to the retirement of longtime star Landon Donovan.

Donovan's departure left the Galaxy with a vacant designated-player berth, which they can use to sign high-priced stars with relief from salary cap constraints.

Gerrard, a former England captain, famously inspired Liverpool to glory in the 2005 Champions League final and has also won two FA Cups, three League Cups and the UEFA Cup.

But he has never won the Premier League title, with Liverpool having narrowly lost out to Manchester City last season.

In an interview with British regional newspaper the Liverpool Echo published on Wednesday, Gerrard explained that he had decided to leave after manager Brendan Rodgers told him he was no longer guaranteed a starting place.

"I've never wanted to be a squad player," Gerrard said. "If I was missing games now, I'd be sitting out even more next season. I knew it would get worse and worse as time went on."

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