New York Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh has told Major League Soccer they haven’t singled out Kaka or Eric Abidal as a name of interest as the club looks to fill its third and final Designated Player tag.
Speaking on Kaka, Roxburgh said, “For me, at this moment in time, it’s not something you’d say, ‘Well, let’s pursue that. Let’s go and talk to him.’ This is simply another name that kind of sits out there in space that might at some point come more into focus. I’ve brought into my focus a few names that I think could help this team and might be available to us. There’s a second band [of names] further out in the stratosphere that are interesting, but at this stage not available so far as we know, and all we do is keep our eye [out] and monitor the situation.”
Kaka had mentioned in November that he would seriously consider and enjoy playing in the United States. When asked if he would consider the Red Bulls, he said “One day I hope I can play in MLS, but I don’t think it’s now.”
The article wording did suggest there may be a shortlist of names the team is considering approaching, but Roxburgh also said no movement has occurred on the Abidal front either. “His name is one of these names that was raised some weeks ago to us, but I personally have not been involved in any talks with Éric Abidal or had anything to do, just heard his name. As you know, the rumor factory runs mad at this time [of year], so there’s a lot of names thrown up. … In this case, I haven’t spoken to Éric Abidal. He’s obviously been a top player, he has health problems as we know, but there’s nothing to say about that because there’s nothing tangible.”
These quotes aren’t exactly rejections of the idea, but do indicate the club isn’t exactly far along in its process to find a suitable match.
Eric Abidal was just yesterday released from his contract at Barcelona in a teary-eyed farewell press conference. The 33-year-old has struggled with his health and only recently recovered from a liver transplant. He’s been playing at Camp Nou since 2007.