Rumor Central: Deserve's got something to do with it

"Yes, we talked to Del Piero; yes, we talked to Ballack; yes, we spoke to Anelka; yes, we talked to Trezeguet."

That's Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo telling the story of his team's pursuit of a high-profile Designated Player. Of the four mentioned, three are already out of the mix: Alessandro Del Piero prefers New York or LA, Nicolas Anelka signed for big, big bucks in China, and David Trezeguet is trying to lead River Plate out of the Argentine second flight.

That leaves Michael Ballack, the 35-year-old former German captain who's been on MLS radars for at least two years. Saputo says his team's fans "deserve a Designated Player" - but not at "any price."  Ballack is free to leave current club Bayer Leverkusen, where's he's been largely disappointing, but even so he won't come cheap.

( - 1/30/2012)

Stay connected: The official MLS app keeps you connected with the latest news, highlights, scores, standings, and analysis all for FREE. Download for iOS (Apple) or Download for Android