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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Inter Milan ‘desperate’ to bring in Andrea Pirlo on loan from NYCFC

Inter Milan are looking to bring Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo back to Serie A just six months after leaving to join New York City FC in MLS, according to reports out of Italy.

Sport Mediaset claim Inter boss Roberto Mancini is desperate to bring Pirlo in on loan from January through to the start of the new MLS season in March.

Pirlo, who joined Inter as a 19-year-old in 1998, has said he is not looking for a loan move to fill his time during the MLS offseason as he would rather focus on his NYCFC commitments ahead of his first full season.

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“No, I do not think I will go to Europe, it would not be fair to my team,” he recently told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“All I’m thinking about is training this offseason for the 2016 campaign at New York.”

Inter Milan would not be the first Serie A side to look to MLS as a way of strengthening during the winter. Fierce rivals AC Milan twice loaned David Beckham from LA Galaxy in 2008 and 2009.

Pirlo joined New York City in July and went on to make 13 MLS appearances towards the end of the regular season. He will be disappointed not to have scored a goal but will look to improve in 2016 as the expansion franchise look to bounce back after not making the playoffs at the first attempt.

Should Andrea Pirlo consider a loan move to Inter Milan? How important will he be to NYCFC next season?

Liverpool closing in on £18m-rated Arsenal target as Gerrard replacement

Liverpool have reportedly made an offer for Inter Milan midfielder Mateo Kovacic as they look to fill the void left by Steven Gerrard as he leaves for MLS side LA Galaxy, according to the Express.

The 21-year-old has also attracted interest from Arsenal and Liverpool initially made an offer of £7.5m which was rejected by the Italian club.

But now Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that Liverpool have returned with a new offer of £12.9m for the Croatian youngster.

Despite the improved offer, it’s expected that Inter are likely to turn it down as they are hoping to hold out for a figure closer to the £18m mark for one of their key players.

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With Liverpool stepping up their interest, it could force Arsenal into action if they are to further pursue the possibility of bringing Kovacic to the club.

Kovacic is a versatile midfielder capable of playing numerous roles whether it be as an attacking midfielder, box-to-box player or in the holding role.

The Croatian international made 34 appearances, scored five goals and made two assists for Inter in Serie A this season.

Would Mateo Kovacic be an ideal replacement for Steven Gerrard?

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?

Inter Milan set sights on HUGE move for Manchester City trio

Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini is preparing a raid on his former club for Manchester City trio Yaya Toure, James Milner and Samir Nasri, according to the Daily Mail.

Mancini is planning to reshape his Inter side by signing the three midfielders he brought to City during his spell at the Premier League club.

James Milner is out of contract in the summer and has attracted interest from a number of clubs after a solid season and could favour a reunion with his former coach in Italy.

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Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri have not enjoyed the best of seasons and have failed to make their usual impact for the reigning champions.

Inter could hit a snag in their pursuit of Toure due to his high wages at a reported £200,000-a-week. Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in the Ivorian and a move to the mega rich French club could be a more likely destination, given their extra financial power.

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A move for Samir Nasri is also a possibility for PSG but Mancini will hope his connections with the player can lure him to Inter.

City’s squad has come under fire due to their below-par performances since the turn of the year and there could be major changes at the club over the summer as they are looking to get back on track.

If Mancini is to land all three of his former stars it would go some way to rebuilding his Inter squad who have struggled this season and are sitting 9th in Serie A.

Should Manchester City allow Yaya Toure, James Milner and Samir Nasri leave the club this summer?

Orlando City set to sign Samba star

According to reports in America and Italy, AC Milan superstar Kaka will be linking up with Orlando City when the new MLS season begins in 2015. Until then it is said he will link up with Sao Paulo – the club where he made his club career debut.

Kaka would be the second major signing for MLS after David Villa’s move to the other new franchise New York City FC was confirmed earlier this month.

Kaka has endured a fantastic career in Europe, having played for AC Milan and Real Madrid where he has won a Serie A medal and La Liga titles as well as a Champions League medal in 2007 whilst at Milan. He also has a World Cup medal from Brazil’s triumph in 2002.

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Kaka has the option to terminate his contract with Milan this summer, as a clause in his contract allows him to leave as Milan failed to qualify for the Champions League. With Milan’s eighth-placed finish, there will be no European football at all at the San Siro next season, and Kaka is set for a new challenge as a designated player in the USA.

In March this year Kaka told an Italian newspaper “One day, I would like to play in America, I want to see what Adriano Galliani’s ideas are and what the clubs ideas are. If it turns out I need to move. I will choose MLS”.

Kaka is believed to be in advanced talks with Orlando City and could be set to become the face of the new franchise when they enter MLS next season.

Orlando City targeting Brazilian superstars

Orlando City SC are looking at bringing in Brazilian midfielders Robinho and Kaka from AC Milan ahead of their debut season in Major League Soccer next year, according to reports across Italy.

The Orlando City franchise are set to join MLS next season, at the start of 2015, and have made the Brazilian stars their transfer priorities.

Kaka has been linked with the move since March, after he visited the franchise’s training facilities with owner and friend Flávio Augusto Da Silva.

Speaking to Corriere della Sera, the former Ballon d’Or winner stated that his next move will be to the US, when he leaves Milan for the second time in his career.

“One day, I would like to play in America, let’s see. At the end of the season, I will talk to [general manager Adriano Galliani]. Not just to speak about bonuses and money, money is not the main thing for me now, and I think that is understood.”

“If it turns out I need to move, I will choose the MLS,” Kaka added.

The 32-year-old would be an incredible coup for Orlando City, and Major League Soccer as well if he were to make the move stateside.

And today’s reports from Italy indicate that Robinho is also keen to make the move across to the US, following teammate Kaka to Orlando.

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(Photo: Thumbs up from Robinho, who fancies the move to MLS)

The Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that the former Real Madrid and Manchester City winger has the option to move to Orlando in time for next season, as well as having offers from Brazil.

The 30-year-old is set to leave Milan this summer, and it is believed that his likes the option of an extended break before joining up with Orlando City in time for next season.

His flair would certainly light up MLS and he would undoubtedly thrive in the league.

The same report confirms that Kaka is also likely to join the side in time for the new season, but he will remain with Milan until January, before heading over to the US.

Both Kaka and Robinho were omitted from the Brazilian national side for this summer’s World Cup and are now ready to enjoy a new challenge away from European football.

Do you think Kaka and Robinho will make the move to Orlando City?