Juventus and Italian national team legend Alessandro Del Piero has long been linked with a move to MLS, and despite recent reports having him wind up with the Montreal Impact, the club's president set the record straight on the matter.
Joey Saputo admitted to having discussions with the 37-year-old Del Piero's representatives on two occasions — last April in Montreal and last June in Italy — while discussing a potential move to MLS, but offered that Del Piero has his eyes on the league's two major markets should he come to America.
"We were advised by his group in August 2011 that Alessandro would rather focus on New York or Los Angeles," Saputo said in a statement released by the Impact. "There has been no discussion since then. There is no truth to the rumour that we want the player at all cost. Although we feel that Alessandro would have been a good addition to our club and the city, we respect his decision to look elsewhere in MLS. With the knowledge of soccer in the city, Montreal deserves a Designated Player but the conditions must be right."
The Los Angeles Galaxy currently would not be an option for Del Piero, because all three of the club's Designated Player spots are occupied (David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane). New York would be a potential fit, because the departure of goalkeeper Frank Rost leaves Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez as the two lone DPs.
Here are a couple of more items from around MLS:
BOYD PASSES ON DYNAMO
Scottish striker Kris Boyd has passed on the chance to sign with the Houston Dynamo as a Designated Player, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The 28-year-old Boyd, who scored more than 100 goals as a former standout at Rangers, has long been a target of the club but resisted Houston's advances. After leaving Rangers in 2010, Boyd spent a season at Middlesbrough before heading to Turkish club Eskisehirspor, but he got out of his contract with the club after reportedly not being paid and is a free agent.
"We tried our best to bring (Boyd) here," Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear told the Chronicle. "Unfortunately I think the move was just not something he wanted to do in his career, but I can't fault us for being very aggressive in our approach to him."
Houston's forward unit is still a work in progress following the departure of Brian Ching to Montreal in the expansion draft. The club used its first-round SuperDraft pick on Louisville's Colin Rolfe and selected up Virginia's Brian Ownby in the supplemental draft to complement the returning trio of Calen Carr, Will Bruin and Cam Weaver.
REPORT: GALAXY EYEING LEEDS CENTERBACK
Following the long-term knee injury to reigning MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez, the Los Angeles Galaxy are continuing to look for reinforcements on the back line even after drafting Indiana's Tommy Meyer and bringing back Leonardo on loan from Sao Paulo. Reports out of England suggest that the club is looking at Leeds United centerback Alex Bruce as an option.
The 27-year-old Bruce, the son of former Manchester United standout and Premier League coach Steve Bruce, is out of favor at Leeds. He was briefly sent on loan to Huddersfield Town before returning to the club earlier this month.
What do you make of Saputo's statement? Do you want to see Del Piero in MLS? Disappointed Boyd passed on Houston? How do you feel about the Galaxy's centerback options?
Share your thoughts below.