Former France national team star and Real Madrid "galactico" Zinedine Zidane is in New York this week fueling speculation that he is discussing an offer which would bring him to MLS' New York Red Bulls.
French superstar Zinedine Zidane enjoys the New York scene at a Knicks game in Madison Square Garden with director Spike Lee. (Nathaniel S. Butler / Getty Images)
Zidane attended a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and was spotted Wednesday evening at fashion week event promoting adidas' Y3 fashion line.
MLS has long coveted the midfielder, rightly hailed as one of the best players of all-time. The linchpin of the "golden generation" of French talent, Zidane gained infamy this year after being ejected for headbutting Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final in Berlin. France went on to lose the game on penalty kicks.
Zidane was subsequently suspended by FIFA for six games, but as he retired from club and international play, he has not yet served it. Should NYRB sign him, Zidane would have to serve the suspension.
Jeff Agoos, the former U.S. national team defender and current technical director for NYRB was candid today when reached by a reporter, saying, "We haven't spoken with him, and I don't have any plans to do so at this point in the near future.
"I'd love to go out with him though, if he's coming here," continued Agoos. "And we'd certainly be interested in having him."
Will Kuhns, Communications Director at Major League soccer declined to comment on Zidane saying ""It is MLS' policy not to comment about players who are not under contract to the league."
Speculation about Zidane has been persistent since last summer. Earlier reports linked Zidane to an offer from the Chicago Fire, which Zidane reputedly turned down. Chicago Fire officials stated today that they have no plans to sign Zidane.
Should New York be able to snag Zidane's services, the move would but an emphatic cap on a dizzying transfer season that has seen MLS become the unlikely dominator of headlines.
With the signing of David Beckham to an enormous contract for the Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS has become a worldwide talking point, with a tenacity that has yet to evaporate despite the fact that Beckham will not appear for the Galaxy until July.