The pieces are slowly falling into place for the LA Galaxy this offseason, and it appears they'll have another key player returning to the fold as they chase an unprecedented third consecutive MLS Cup.
In a wide-ranging Q&A on beIN Sport's website, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told veteran journalist Frank Dell'Apa that Juninho will be returning to the MLS club in 2013.
The Brazilian midfielder has been on loan to the Galaxy from São Paulo FC for the last three seasons, and LA scored something of a coup last winter by extending the loan for another season after São Paulo had recalled the hardworking youngster following LA's MLS Cup triumph in 2011.
It wasn't clear whether Juninho would be coming back on another loan or if he would be transferring into MLS.
Juninho's return would ensure the Galaxy keep their midfield stocked following David Beckham's departure. Fellow Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas is the most obvious fill-in on the offensive end, and Arena also told Dell'Apa that "there’s a chance we’ll get a Designated Player that can slip into midfield as well."
Kaká has been a Galaxy target, but Arena said the former FIFA World Player of the Year "is not on the radar" for the club, and he wouldn't comment when asked about English veteran Frank Lampard, who continues to be linked to LA.
The club declined comment when contacted by MLSsoccer.com on Monday.