GALAXY: New suitors for Edson Buddle?
Edson Buddle, whose week of training at Birmingham City elicited transfer talk from the English Premier League club, has drawn interest from other British clubs.
The Galaxy has not acknowledged that it is willing to part with the 29-year-old forward, but all players, ultimately, are for sale. It's about meeting the right price, and Buddle's price tag likely tops $5 million after his splendid 2010 campaign.
Meanwhile, David Beckham's will-he-or-won't-he loan saga is boiling over as the winter transfer window nears, and Ronaldinho's move to Brazil isn't looking so certain -- so might the Galaxy still be in the running for the superstar attacker's services?
Buddle, who apparently visited Scottish champion Rangers FC -- home of Fontana's Maurice Edu (Etiwanda HS), Buddle's World Cup teammate -- during his December trip to Britain, could have several suitors on the island.
Sheffield Wednesday manager Alan Irvine is among his admirers, although the former top-tier team is now in the third-tier League One, and Buddle isn't likely to head to a lower-division club if he makes a move to Europe. Reports in Britain claim the Owls have contacted Buddle's representatives, Sky Sports says.
“He's been over here, to Rangers and Birmingham, and he's now back in America,” Irvine told the Sheffield Star newspaper. “He has scored a lot of goals for L.A. Galaxy. He's also played in the World Cup for America. He's obviously no mug.”
Sky Sports links Rangers to a bid for Buddle and claims EPL sides Everton (U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard's club), Stoke City and Wolverhampton (home to Marcus Hahnemann, the No. 2 netminder on the U.S. World Cup team) also are “rumoured to be keeping tabs on the USA international.”
BECKHAM: Beckham, who told English media earlier this month that he hoped for a loan deal in Europe, is in talks with the Galaxy about setting up a two-month move, England's Daily Express reported Thursday.
Tottenham appears to be the frontrunner should L.A. give its approval. The north London club, for which Beckham's maternal grandfather rooted, had made contact with Beckham's representatives, the newspaper reported.
Another half-dozen Premier League clubs -- Blackburn, Blackpool, Everton, Newcastle, Sunderland and West Ham United -- have expressed interest, and there have been reports that Chelsea, too, would like to bring the 35-year-old midfielder in. There also have been offers from Italy, Spain and Turkey.
The Galaxy will open its preseason camp in late January, and the Major League Soccer season starts March 15. Coach Bruce Arena has said he expects Buddle and Beckham to be present when workouts begin.
RONALDINHO: Then there's Ronaldinho, who has been linked with the Galaxy for, oh, perhaps two years now. The rumors were loudest last summer and during the fall -- Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts strongly hinted a deal was coming, and the midfielder's agent/brother claimed in the Italian press that an agreement had been reached -- then quieted when the agent/brother said the superstar attacker was looking forward to returning to Brazil.
The latest: The president of Porto Alegre-based Gremio said on Brazilian television that “everything is already set” and that Roberto de Assis, the agent/brother, was negotiating a release from AC Milan. Now de Assis has told Sky Sport Italia that Ronaldinho will consider offers from Europe as well as Brazil. And it appears the Galaxy might still be in the mix, too.
Milan VP Adriano Galliani told Sky Sports on Thursday that the club will relinquish Ronaldinho in January.