Los Angeles Soccer: Michel Salgado
Spanish defender Michel Salgado, who played in one World Cup and would have played in another if not for injury, could be coming to the Galaxy, multiple English media reported Thursday.
Salgado, a 36-year-old outside back, is considering an offer to join the Galaxy -- and his pal David Beckham -- during the summer transfer window, the reports claimed, although none cite any sources. The Galaxy does not comment on such reports.
He is with Blackburn in the English Premier League but has not seen action since December and apparently won't again this season because his contract mandates a new deal if he makes a set number of appearances, and the club does not wish to re-sign him. He would be a free agent, available on a free transfer, when the transfer window opens June 27.
Salgado spent more than a decade at Real Madrid, where Beckham was his teammate from 2003 through 2007. He joined Blackburn in 2009. He made 53 appearances for Spain's national team, played in the 2000 European Championship and 2006 World Cup, and missed out on the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 because he was injured.
There also is reported interest in Qatar, and a source told The Mirror that Salgado also is looking at possibilities in the Middle East.
The Galaxy have struggled defensively this season without star center back Omar Gonzalez, who is out with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but they have veterans at both outside back positions (Sean Franklin on the right, Todd Dunivant on the left) and decent cover on both sides. L.A. will have the maximum number of players allowed by Major League Soccer on its roster (30) when Brazilian center back Leonardo is removed from the disabled list, likely next month. A player must be released when Gonzalez returns, probably in August or September.
UPDATE (1 p.m.): We asked Beckham about the Salgado reports following the Galaxy's training session Thursday at Home Depot Center. Here's what he said:
“I didn't know [about the reports]. Obviously, I know Michel. I'll speak to him. I'll ask him.
What kind of player is Salgado?
“Michel is a great player,” Beckham said. “Obviously, he's a legend at Real Madrid, and he was a good friend to me while I was at Real Madrid, as well. He's a great defender, he's aggressive, he wins the ball, he's not worried about going into any tackle. A good player. I'll speak to him. I'll ask him. I'll tell you tomorrow.”