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Rumor Central

14 December 7:38 pm

The "As the Beckham Turns" soap opera took its latest twist on Friday with the former LA Galaxy star apparently shutting the door on a reported move to Australia.

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage told the A-League's official website that he ran into Beckham in London during a performance of the Spice Girls' new stage musical (obviously) and — let's give the man some credit — had the stones to corner him with the Big Question.

"I got the chance to chat to David and, of course, I asked him about coming to Australia," Sage told footballaustralia.com.au. "He looked me in the eye and basically said, 'That would be nice, but it's too far away from my businesses.'"

The former England captain and two-time MLS Cup winner had been linked to Perth, while rival A-League clubs Melbourne Heart and Central Coast Mariners also expressed interest in bringing the 37-year-old Down Under. But Sage doesn't see any of that working out.

"It would have been great to have him at Perth Glory, but it looks like that won't be happening," he said. "I just don't think he'll be coming to Australia, full stop."

So where to, Becks? Those reports of a return to England — or France, or China or the Middle East — are all still floating around.

12 December 9:19 pm

There have been Claudio Bieler rumors for weeks now. There has also been very, very loud noise from Sporting KC already this offseason.

There's also the obvious fit: Sporting need someone who can and will put the ball in the net. For all of C.J. Sapong's improvement in his second year, he scored just nine times. Kei Kamara grabbed 11 goals, but could have had 25. And for the second year in a row, SKC went crashing out in the playoffs to a Houston team that was able to grab a couple of early goals, then batten down the hatches and count on the Sporting attack beating itself.

Bieler ain't that kind of cat. He's been good for about a goal every other game on every stop of his club career, which includes a 2008 Copa Libertadores crown with LDU Quito (Side note: They beat Jose Torres and Pachuca in the semifinals of the Club World Cup that year en route to a second-place finish. That was a good Quito team).

He's also been on the very fringes of the Argentine national team as recently as 2010, getting a camp under then-manager Diego Maradona (but no cap).

When you have a finisher with that kind of pedigree available, who's just 28 years old, you say "yes." According to Goal.com, that's exactly what's happening on Monday.

Now, it remains to be seen how it'll quite fit, since Bieler has usually played off a target striker instead of as a winger in a 4-3-3. A formational pivot could be in the works, or Peter Vermes could have some other trick up his sleeve.

Either way, though, it certainly looks like Sporting KC are very, very serious about getting better this offseason.

12 December 9:04 pm

I tagged this as "Canadian Exports" because I'm sadistic.

For those Yanks who may not be familiar (I'm going to go right ahead and assume that all our Canuck readers absolutely are): Owen Hargreaves was born and raised in Calgary, living there — and developing as a soccer player there — until age 16, at which point Bayern Munich spotted him and signed him to a youth deal. He made his first team breakthrough early in the 2000-01 season, which just so happened to be the year that Munich won their most recent UEFA Champions League crown.

"Why haven't I heard of this guy in CONCACAF qualifying?" you're wondering.

It's because Hargreaves spurned Canada to play for Wales (yes, Wales). And on the eve of what was to be his first cap for the Welsh youth national team, he went on to spurn them as well, because big ol' England came calling.

Hardcore Canadian national team fans have a very, very nasty nickname for him.

Anyway, Hargreaves was pretty damn good, impressed for England in the 2004 Euros and 2006 World Cup, and seemed to just be entering his prime and was on track to be one of the world's best pure destroyers. He moved from Munich to Manchester United in the interim.

And then the injuries hit. Hargreaves played 17 competitive club games in '06-07, 34 in '07-08, and a grand total of nine since then. In what should have been his prime, he became a salary albatross, first with United and then with Manchester City.

"What's all this got to do with MLS?"

Here ya go:

What about a spell in Major League Soccer in the United States?

Yes. They want me to go and play over there. It is a big move, you have to decide do you want to make the move, a big change. There are so many things I could do there and it would be nice to spend time in Canada.

Hargreaves is "just" 31 years old, but whoever it is that wants him to "go and play over there" may want to do a little more homework. They wanted him to play at Old Trafford and City of Manchester Stadium as well. Add in the indignity of signing the Canadian cross between Giuseppi Rossi and John O'Brien, and it's hard to believe that anyone in MLS would make this move, but most especially any of the three Canadian teams.

But hey ... if he does come to MLS after multiple injury-ravaged years, he wouldn't be the first.

08 December 2:46 pm

The Canadian press is all abuzz over this one. As first reported on the Twitter feed of RDS' Patrick Friolet, apparently former Impact head coach Jesse Marsch has an offer to become the boss at Toronto FC:

In case you don't speak French, here's the translation via Nick Sabetti, who covers the Impact and the Canadian national team for Goal.com:

And if that's not enough, CBC.ca contributor Ben Raycroft says that Marsch has also had talks with his old club, Chivas USA:

Our take? Well, it's worth noting that Marsch and new TFC president Kevin Payne go back all the way to 1996, when Payne helped launch D.C. United and Marsch was one of the top midfield subs. They've reportedly been tight ever since.

Payne, however, said in his introductory press conference that current TFC head coach Paul Mariner would stay on for the 2013 season.

“He is a person I have a lot of respect for, competed against for a number of years in the East when he was a key member of the success in New England,” Payne said.

You can watch the entire press conference below:

08 December 1:24 pm

A step down in quality could be just what little-used Sporting KC rookie Dom Dwyner needs to get on the field, and it looks like St. Mirren of the Scottish Premier League are ready to offer it.

STV Sport out of Scotland say that Saints skipper Danny Lennon has the striker in Paisley for training right now, with an eye toward a wintertime loan. Dwyer, who was born and raised in England, would not require a work permit.

"I became aware of Dom through an agent," Lennon told STV. "Kansas City's season is over and there are one or two of the MLS players trying to get over [to Britain]. It has been on the back burner for a month to six weeks, but Dom is over now.

"It would only be a short-term one for us so we will have to wait and see but the reports we have had on him are positive."

Dwyer got on the field but once for Sporting in his rookie season, playing four minutes. St. Mirren currently sit 11th in the 12-team SPL.

07 December 9:40 pm

There's usually ample reason to mistrust the Brazilian media when it comes to soccer  the bigger the lie, the bigger the page views. So they tend to tell some whoppers.

But this one seems to have some truth to it. According to globoesporte, and initially picked up Stateside by the New York Post's Brian Lewis, Juninho Pernambucano  the original Juninho, and no, we shouldn't have to use his last name  is set to sign with the Red Bulls. And in fact, it would take a "miracle" for the transaction to get derailed.

Like I said, this one seems to make some sense, and it's mostly because Juninho goes way back with new global Red Bull soccer honcho Gerard Houllier. Houllier was head coach at Lyon for a spell when Juninho was the man there, and the two reportedly have a tight relationship.

Juninho is out of contract with current club Vasco da Gama on Dec. 31, which means he could come on a free when the MLS window opens on Jan. 1.

On Jan. 30, for what it's worth, he turns 38 years old.

06 December 1:56 pm

The Seattle Sounders are relentless, or so claim the reports from Spain.

The club managed by Sigi Schmid was rumored to be after Espanyol midfielder Joan Verdú in the summer and now they're apparently giving it another go. Inside Spanish Football reports that the Sounders are trying to lure the 29-year-old Spanish midfielder in the upcoming January transfer window.

The same article indicates that Verdú's contract expires in the summer of 2013, but that he's interested in moving to Seattle if provided with "a good offer."

Espanyol currently sit in last place in the La Liga standings and could be looking to offload higher-priced players ahead of a potential drop.

01 December 10:22 pm

This one comes courtesy of our good friends over at Sounder At Heart, a site you should already have bookmarked.

"Sounder at Heart has learned through two secondary sources that Yossi Benayoun has interest in playing in Major League Soccer and that the Seattle Sounders were told of that interest. Benayoun is in the final few months of his loan to West Ham United and full contract with Chelsea."

Benayoun is also 32 and has been through a series of leg injuries over the past couple of years. So while he may want to play in MLS, he may have to face the simple reality that he's not really a DP-type of player at this point.

20 November 8:16 pm

The New England Revolution mean business this offseason.

Jay Heaps' squad has been among the most aggressive this offseason, signing midfielders Andy Dorman and Kalifa Cissé already. And another player may be on his way.

According to Revolution blog The Bent Musket, Honduran international Walter Martínez may be next on the shopping list.

"We received a tip from a colleague on the network, who in turn was tipped by a source he'd like to protect, that Honduran international midfielder/forward Walter Martínez met with Jay Heaps recently to talk transfer," wrote Steve Stoehr.

Wait. A potential third midfielder this early in the offseason? Wasn't the backline supposed to be the club's main priority on the transfer market?

Surely, Heaps and GM Mike Burns are far from done.

20 November 6:23 pm

Among the rumored suitors for the soon-to-be-out-of-contract David Beckham is heavy-spending French side Paris Saint-Germain.

Not so fast.

PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti has made it clear that his team is not interested in the former England international.

"We did not offer, good luck to him," Ancelotti said, according to a report on Goal.com.

Beckham plays his last match for the LA Galaxy on Dec. 1 in MLS Cup 2012. Where he goes from there is anyone's guess at this point. But fans have chimed in with their own speculation: See where they think Becks is heading in this poll on MLSsoccer.com.