Los Angeles Soccer: Roberto de Assis
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.”
News item: Ronaldinho negotiating to leave AC Milan.
What this means for the Galaxy, who can tell? The 30-year-old Brazilian superstar has been linked to L.A. for a couple of years now, but the club has never officially confirmed its interest no matter what's reported nor how it's sourced.
Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts hinted in July that Ronaldinho would “in the next couple days” be en route to the Galaxy -- didn't happen -- and Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport last month reported that the playmaker had reached an agreement with L.A.
Now Roberto de Assis, Ronaldinho's brother/agent -- and the primary source on all the L.A. talk -- says the likely destination is Brazil.
He told Radio Bandeirantes last week that a deal with Palmeiras was possible -- the Sao Paulo club is reportedly offering a three-year, $29 million contract -- that “Ronaldinho would like to return to Brazil because he has the desire to win the trophies that he is still missing, like the Brasileirao [national championship] and Copa Libertadores.”
Ronaldinho's contract with Milan doesn't end until June, but Il Corriere dello Sport, another Italian daily, reported Wednesday that negotiations to depart in January are ongoing and that Gremio -- Ronaldinho's first club, based in Porto Alegre -- and Rio de Janeiro's Flamengo also have made offers.