Ah, it’s that time of year again.
The domestic campaigns in Europe are coming to a close and that means one thing: veteran players or players who are out of contract being linked with moves to Major League Soccer. Along with death, taxes and birth it is one of life’s constants.
[ RELATED: Sterling saga continues ]
Anyway… in the latest round of rumored MLS transfers, we have three players who have all played in the UEFA Champions League and have starred for some of the biggest clubs and national teams in the world.
Djibril Cisse, Alessandro Del Piero and Daniel De Rossi are the men in question.
Former Liverpool and France striker Cisse seems the most likely of the three stars mentioned to make an imminent arrival in MLS. Cisse, 33, currently plays for Bastia in Ligue 1 but has said it would be “cool” to play in MLS and will be out of contract this summer. Cisse told France Football that “there are a lot of offers from the USA. India too. I have two or three things in Poland and some which are a little funky, but the USA would be cool.” Cisse has scored six goals in 25 appearances for Bastia in the past two seasons but a hip injury has hampered the Frenchman who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005.
Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero spoke to ESPN earlier this week at the launch of the downtown stadium project for the new LAFC franchise which will begin play in 2018 in MLS. Del Piero, 40, may be a little too old to play for LAFC then but he was involved in this weeks event after his close connections with some of the owners. Perhaps Del Piero is being groomed to become a coach or ambassador with LAFC? The Italian striker also hinted that he is staying in shape and trying to sort out a new club in the next few months after his spell in the A-League with Sydney FC and then the Delhi Dynamos of the Indian Super League ended.
Rounding off the transfer news is AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi, as the 31-year-old midfielder has spoken at a book launch in the Italy about emulating Steven Gerrard. De Rossi revealed he has come very close to leaving Roma in the past but after 14 years at Roma he is likely to become their captain when Francesco Totti retires and wants the same send-off as Gerrard, before hinting that he could well follow in his footsteps.
“As a youngster Gerrard was really a reference point for me, an idol for what he did on the field, but above all off it,” De Rossi said. “I would like to end with the same dignity as Gerrard. I want to leave Roma when I am still strong and in good physical shape.”
Does that mean De Rossi wants to head to MLS like Gerrard? Who knows. De Rossi heading to MLS would certainly be a few years off. One thing is for sure, more and more players around Europe are seriously contemplating moves to the States when their careers are winding down. That is both a good and a bad things for MLS but that discussion can be saved for another day…