Departing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard’s debut for new side Los Angeles Galaxy has been pencilled in for July 11.
The Reds midfielder signed off a 28-year association with his one professional side in Sunday’s 6-1 defeat at Stoke.
He is currently on an end-of-season break in Dubai with his team-mates but will soon begin preparations for a new challenge in Major League Soccer, whom he cannot officially play for until the league’s summer transfer window opens on July 8.
But coach Bruce Arena already has the International Champions Cup at home to Mexico’s Club America in mind for Gerrard’s first appearance in a Galaxy shirt.
“We expect him here before July 11,” Arena told lagalaxy.com.
“We haven’t finalized a date yet. He will be here, he’ll get some training in and by the time that he’s eligible to play; he’ll be ready to go.”
Gerrard may not have yet left for his new adventure but he is already thinking about the time when he will return to Anfield.
“I want to keep playing every week in the final few years of my career and I’m looking forward to embarking on a new challenge with Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS,” said the 34-year-old, who Press Association can reveal will publish his new autobiography in September.
“I hope to get the opportunity to come back and serve the club again one day.
“I feel that I can make a contribution in some role in the future.”
In an open letter to fans Gerrard added: “I’ve been blown away by the send-off I’ve been given by the supporters and I’d like to thank every one of you.
“It’s been very humbling and it’s something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
“It’s been an absolute privilege to represent this football club for so long.
“I’ve been very fortunate to play alongside some incredible players and for managers who have all helped me to improve and develop.
“I’m proud of what I’ve given back – the sacrifices, the dedication and the loyalty over the years.
“But more than anything I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to play in front of these fans for so long.”
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