LA Galaxy making ‘significant advances’ with Nigel De Jong, deal close

LA Galaxy are closing in on the signing of AC Milan midfielder Nigel De Jong, with the latest reports indicating that “significant advancements” have been made.

The 31-year-old Dutch midfielder still has two-and-a-half years left on his Milan contract but is deemed surplus to requirements at the Serie A outfit.

Milan will likely want to offload De Jong before the January transfer window closes in a couple of days, though the Galaxy cannot sign anyone until the MLS transfer window opens in a few weeks.

Premier League side Leicester City are also reported to be interested in the former Manchester City man, though the Galaxy appear to be the frontrunners for his signature.

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Reports out of Italy on Saturday claimed that the deal was close to being agreed, but that a contract had not yet been signed.

The signing of De Jong would be a major coup for the Galaxy, though he would not be able to join as a Designated Player as those three slots are already being used on Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Giovani Dos Santos.

Ashley Cole joined the club last week on a non-DP contract and bringing in De Jong in the same way would represent two major signings for the Western Conference side.

Would Nigel De Jong be a good signing for LA Galaxy?

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AC Milan midfielder nearing MLS switch with offer “expected”

Another Italian international could be heading for MLS as AC Milan’s Antonio Nocerino is seemingly on the radar of at least one Major League Soccer outfit.

The 30-year-old central midfield enforcer has struggled to play a part in the AC Milan side over the past two seasons and has been sent on three consecutive loan spells to West Ham, Torino and most recently, Parma.

He is currently still in Milan, but with just five months left on his current contract, he will be heading out of the club by the summer at the very latest.

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AC Milan vice president and CEO, Alberto Galliani, has had his say on the future of Nocerino and has interestingly revealed that an offer from MLS “is expected”.

“Antonio Nocerino? He’s the only player heading out, we’re expecting an offer from MLS to arrive and that could be a solution,” Galliani is reported as saying on Monday.

Nocerino would be the third high-profile Italian to join MLS over the past year if a move does come to fruition, as he would follow Sebastian Giovinco and Andrea Pirlo in making the switch stateside.

At 30, he still has a lot to offer and will hope to reignite his career once he escapes the limbo he finds himself in at Milan.

The Juventus academy product captained the Italian U23 side in 2008 as well as the Italian team at the Beijing Olympics during the same year.

He has made a total of 15 international appearances for the Azzurri, but has not played for the national side since November 2012, following his participation in Italy’s Euro 2012 squad.

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It’s unclear which MLS side are reportedly chasing Nocerino, while it is as unclear whether he would join the league as a Designated Player or not.

LA Galaxy are one possible destination, given the fact that they are looking to replace Juninho this offseason following his departure, though Nocerino would have to accept a non-DP role if he were to make that move.

Would Antonio Nocerino be a good signing for MLS? Which club could benefit from his services?

TRANSFER ROUNDUP: Liverpool star to Chelsea, Manchester United close in on striker

Daily transfer roundup (Monday, June 15)

MLS Rumours

New York City FC could be on the verge of signing two Spanish full-backs in the next few weeks as Athletic Bilbao’s Iraola and Manchester City’s Angelino are both expected to sign. (REPORT)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks unlikely to join any MLS side. The goal-machine previously said he would be interested in a move to America but now wants a move back to AC Milan. (REPORT)

Ronaldinho is set to meet with Turkish Lig’s Antalyaspor, distancing him from an MLS move. The former Ballon d’Or winner had been linked with LA Galaxy. (REPORT)

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Premier League Rumours

Chelsea are interested in signing Liverpool starlet, Raheem Sterling, but are not willing to stump up the £50m asking price for the 20-year-old winger. (REPORT)

Manchester United are closing in on Mario Mandzukic. Louis Van Gaal has previously coached the forward during his time at Bayern Munich and is keen on linking up with him again. (REPORT)

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Jackson Martinez is set to decide his future in the coming days. The Columbian has been linked with a move to Arsenal but reports have suggested he has already signed for AC Milan. (REPORT)

United legend set for Miami battle with former teammate

Manchester United and MLS legend, David Beckham is set for a battle with AC Milan icon, Paolo Maldini, as his proposal for a new Major League Soccer franchise continues.

Maldini has the upper-hand as his Miami Football Club will be competing in the North American Soccer League as of the 2016 season. Maldini is full of confidence ahead of Miami FC’s debut season.

“I’m proud and excited to be part of this venture. I strongly believe in the growth of soccer in USA, and this is the perfect project to develop a top-class soccer team in one of the most important cities of the world.”

Beckham’s latest setback with his proposal came in 2014, after a 25,000 capacity stadium was rejected and his push for a fourth Miami competitive side has not been easy. Miami politicians have rejected stadium applications twice for Beckham’s franchise and a proposal was made for his side to be based at Florida International University on a temporary basis.

Maldini’s Miami will become the third soccer side in the city, alongside Miami United and Miami Fusion, who both play in the National Premier Soccer League Sunshine Conference. Fusion formerly played in MLS until 2002.

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Miami FC were described as the ‘city’s only professional soccer club’ in an NASL statement, which is a blow for Beckham.

The former United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star is set to meet today with MLS Commissioner Don Garber and outgoing University of Miami president, Donna Shalala, about the possibility of a partnering on a football/soccer stadium.

Beckham needs his proposal to take a forward step as he is risking losing his expansion slot with a whole host of potential teams lining up to join MLS.

Don’t miss: Don Garber give fresh encouragement to MLS expansion hopefuls

Miami FC’s announcement yesterday has only intensified pressure on Beckham’s proposal to bring MLS to Miami.

Has Maldini’s Miami FC dealt a huge blow to Beckham and is this the start of a rivalry between two footballing greats?

West Ham dealt blow as AC Milan join chase for midfielder – report

West Ham loanee Alex Song has been linked with a summer move to AC Milan as they look to replace Nigel De Jong, who is expected to leave the Italian club in the summer.

Song, currently on loan from FC Barcelona, is with the Hammers for the season and the Premier League side are keen on making his move permanent.

However, AC Milan and Inter Milan are also interested in the Cameroon international, with Inter looking to Song as a potential backup option, should their pursuit of Yaya Toure fall short.

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Song is favourite to join AC Milan in the summer, according to the Daily Mail, as De Jong looks set to leave on a free after rejecting a new contract and is wanted by Manchester United.

Song, who joined Barcelona in the summer of 2012 for a reported fee of £15 million, has played 27 times for West Ham in the Premier League this season and has been a great asset to the side this campaign.

West Ham’s recent form has seen them drop out of the race for European football but they can still see their season as successful and signing Song on a permanent basis would also be huge for the East London club.

Should West Ham look to tie down Alex Song on a permanent basis? Would AC Milan be a better move for the former Arsenal man?

Liverpool make move for £12m-rated Serie A winger – report

Liverpool have made a ‘tentative approach’ towards AC Milan regarding the availability of Frenchman Jeremy Menez, according to Tuttosport.

Menez could be swayed by the possibility of European football next season as Milan have fallen short of securing it for another season and Liverpool look to have all but sealed Europa League football.

Menez would be another attacking option for the Reds as they look to bolster their frontline due to the injury to Daniel Sturridge that rules him out until September, and the lack of goals from attacking duo Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli, both of whom are linked with moves away this summer.

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The 28-year-old winger is valued at £12.3 million by transfermarkt.co.uk and has been somewhat prolific this term for Milan, netting 16 times in 33 appearances in Serie A, and would be a healthy addition to a side that sees Steven Gerrard as their top goalscorer with just eight.

Liverpool seem to have acted quickly to establish a new target following their disappointing chase of Memphis Depay after the striker agreed to join Manchester United late last week.

But the Reds will face competition from AS Monaco for the French international’s signature if they are to secure his services.

Would Jeremy Menez be a good signing for Liverpool?

Southampton looking to bolster squad with signing of Real Madrid forward

Southampton are reportedly interested in signing out-of-favour Real Madrid striker Javier Hernandez, who is currently on loan from Manchester United.

Hernandez joined Los Blancos on a season long loan from Manchester United in September but has been frustrated with the lack of playing time in such a competitive squad.

He has made just 13 appearances for Madrid this season, 12 of which have come from the bench and the Mexican has scored three times.

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The Daily Mirror are reporting that Southampton are interested in bringing Hernandez in to bolster their current frontline, which boasts the likes of Saido Mane, Shane Long, and Graziano Pelle.

The Saints are said to be in tough competition to sign the 26-year-old forward from Premier League rivals Manchester United though, with the likes of Stoke, Wolfsburg and both Inter and AC Milan reported to be interested.

Hernandez has the potential to score bags of goals given the chance of a lengthy run in the side. His Premier League experience makes him ideal for any top flight club chasing him.

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He has scored 37 goals in 102 Premier League games, and more than half of those games have seen him start on the bench.

It doesn’t look likely that Hernandez will return to the Manchester United setup on a permanent basis and many clubs would relish the chance to sign him.

Southampton have enjoyed a fine season under Ronald Koeman and are just six points off fourth spot with eight games to play.

Would Javier Hernandez be a good signing for Southampton?

Loyal Manchester United star rules out Serie A switch

Manchester United and England captain, Wayne Rooney has ruled out moving away from the Premier League to play in Serie A.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of tonights England friendly against Italy, Rooney outlined his love for Serie A but admits he doesn’t see himself plying his trade there as he loves the Premier League.

“I’ve never thought of playing in Italy,” Rooney said.

“Growing up I watched Italian football. They had some great teams like Juventus and AC Milan and I loved to watch Fiorentina because I loved watching Batistuta.”

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The only likely destination Rooney would choose in Italy would be to ‘The Old Lady’, Juventus, who are the most prominent Italian side to currently feature in the Champions League. But the 29-year-old forward doesn’t think a move is likely.

“But to be honest I don’t think I will be playing in Italy.”

Rooney has also been linked with moves away from United to other Premier League clubs, with the likes of Chelsea having previously been interested, but for now it looks like he will continue to turn out for the Red Devils.

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He is thriving under Louis Van Gaal and seems to love playing for the Red Devils.

As well as closing in on Bobby Charlton’s all-time leading goalscoring record, Rooney is pressing on to try and reach Alan Shearer’s Premier League goalscoring record of 260 goals. Rooney has 184 goals in 400 league appearances.

Would Wayne Rooney suit Serie A? Will he stay with Manchester United for the rest of his career?

Michael Essien keen on MLS switch but rejects FC Dallas offer – report

Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien could be the next big name to move to Major League Soccer this winter as he is believed to be keen on a new challenge but he has turned down an offer from FC Dallas.

Reports emerged yesterday from Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport that Essien was ready to reject offers from across Europe in order to make a move to MLS, just 12 months after moving to Serie A with AC Milan.

Premier League strugglers Burnley, Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion are all interested in signing the 32-year-old who is out of contract in June.

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With just six months left on his current Milan contract, Essien is free to speak to clubs about his next move, with Milan not willing to extend his deal.

The player is reportedly keen to secure a move to MLS so that he can leave Italy in time for the new season starting in March.

But Essien has turned down an offer from FC Dallas, according to transfer specialist David Amoyal, who states in his report that: “Essien’s contract expires in June and just like Giovinco, he could sign with any team for next season.

“FC Dallas made an offer but it was deemed too low.”

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That does not mean that Dallas are out of the race to sign Essien, and if the player is keen on a move to the United States, then he’ll be forced to reconsider any future offers.

It’s worth noting that Essien’s agent is Nico Clavijo – the son of FC Dallas’ technical director Fernando Clavijo.

It has already been a very busy offseason of transfer dealings in MLS and don’t be surprised to see more clubs put an offer on the table for Michael Essien to consider.

Would Michael Essien be a good signing for MLS? Should FC Dallas make another offer?

New England Revolution join Orlando City in race for Robinho – report

Robinho is continuing to be linked with a move to Major League Soccer as New England Revolution are the latest team to be touted as a possible destination for the skillful Brazilian.

The 30-year-old forward is currently on loan at Santos and although he has been linked with a move to Orlando City for several months, owner Flavio Augusto claims they are not interested in him.

The Lions added Bryan Rochez to the squad as a designated player this week, joining Kaka, and they are apparently unwilling to fill their third and final DP slot with the AC Milan man.

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And it seems that New England Revolution are interested in bringing Robinho to MLS as a designated player to give the side a much needed out-and-out forward who could score goals.

The report comes from Portuguese-language site Soccerazo, which claims:

“A new club has stepped in [for Robinho] – MLS Cup finalists, the New England Revolution. Sources indicate that Jermaine Jones’s team is interested in securing the addition of Robinho to compensate for the possible exit of Lee Nguyen.

“There are two other clubs in pursuit of the player – but they do not play in MLS, they are Atlas and Tigres of Mexico.”

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If Lee Nguyen were to leave, New England would desperately need a player of Robinho’s quality to step in. But the Brazilian would thrive in the same side as Nguyen, if the Revs star man were to stay in what would be a lethal attack.

It is difficult to assess how accurate the report is, but it would appear too early to rule out an MLS move for Robinho.

The former Real Madrid and Manchester City man would be an exciting addition to the league but Liga MX clubs will also be looking to bring in the Brazilian star.

Would Robinho be a good signing for the New England Revolution?