Rumor Central: Italian forward Alberto Gilardino on his way to New York City FC?
Italian striker Alberto Gilardino is being linked with Major League Soccer once again, but this time, it's for one of the new teams on the block.
According to reports in Italy, including website Canale Genoa, the 31-year-old, who most recently played for Genoa in Serie A, is mulling his options, with the frontrunners being New York City FC for the upcoming 2015 season and reigning Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande.
Empire of Soccer reports that SportItalia TV reporter Michele Criscitiello broke the story that Gilardino is looking to move abroad for the first time in his career after failing to make the Italian national team roster for the 2014 World Cup.
Both reports note that Gilardino may be attracted to Guangzhou because former teammate Alessandro Diamanti plays there, in addition to former Italian national team coach Marcelo Lippi, who won the 2006 World Cup with Gilardino.
But it seems his family is also interested in moving to New York and learning English. If he did indeed sign with NYCFC, Gilardino would join the club's first-ever signing, Spanish striker and 2010 World Cup winner David Villa, to form an experienced striker tandem for the new MLS club.
Gilardino was reportedly a transfer target of Toronto FC in late 2013, and although the club denied it at the time, after passing on him and signing English forward Jermain Defoe instead, it was later confirmed by TFC executive Tim Leiweke that Gilardino had been a target of the club.