Wayne Rooney is said to be among the star names being considered by new MLS franchise Los Angeles FC as their first potential club “legend”.
The England captain’s future is unclear, with Jose Mourinho said to be willing to let the skipper leave Old Trafford next summer after the 31-year-old fell down the Red Devils’ pecking order.
Rooney has been linked with moves to China and USA, with expansion franchise LAFC said to have shortlisted the star as they seek a name of “global stature” to help them launch in 2018.
According to ESPNFC, Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric and Mexico striker Javier Hernandez are also being considered.
“We are interested in a player or players who are passionate about becoming the first LAFC legend,” LAFC’s executive vice-president John Thorrington told ESPNFC. “The player our fans and organisation point to in 5-10 years as a player who played a major role in growing LAFC to be the global brand we aspire to become.
“I knew there would be interest, but I have been surprised at the level of player and coach who have already expressed interest in joining our amazing project.”
LAFC president and owner Tom Penn spoke about what the new franchise could offer a player such as Rooney.
“For a player of stature, a European star let’s say, we would want them to view this as the first day of the rest of their life, not as just the end of their playing career,” he said.
“If they come to America, and establish themselves in that media market, there are many creative ways with our ownership group and investors to help kickstart or boost the afterlife of their career, as they transition to the real world later.
“But we are active now. We are speaking with player agents and clubs and John Thorrington, our executive vice-president of soccer operations, has been in England for a number of technical meetings.
“So in terms of timings, we have the opportunity in the summer window to announce who our players will be in 2018.
“They will likely be loaned back so they can continue to play in Europe, but we can have three Designated Players that can exceed the salary cap and we can work creative arrangements with them financially.
“So we expect to be working on that in the next nine months, towards an announcement in the summer.”