Miroslav Klose's on-again, off-again relationship with current club Lazio is rumored to be penduluming over to off-again status - with a certain big-spending North American soccer league touted by the ever-eager Italian media as the player's next destination.
The rumor, generally
blamed on attributed to lalaziosiamonoi.it, suggests Lazio's early exit from the UEFA Champions League (knocked out by Bayer Leverkusen in the playoff round) and Klose's slow start to the new season (no goals so far) have combined for a mutual interest in a parting of ways between player and club.
Who might be interested in a 37-year-old striker who has stopped scoring? MLS! We are told there are three clubs entertaining the thought of bringing Klose to North America: Chicago Fire, LA Galaxy, and the New York Red Bulls. And we are told that a move might even be executed in time for the start of the 2016 MLS season.
Absent any knowledge of the inevitable off-season roster changes at all three of those teams, at least two of them seem highly improbable destinations for Klose.
LA Galaxy already has a full quota of Designated Players. Though there is no certainty Klose would necessarily command such a salary, it does seem reasonable to imagine he would want to be well compensated, especially if he leaves Lazio in the winter transfer window, which is before his contract is due to expire. Further, LA appears well stocked with attacking players: Robbie Keane remains one of the elite forwards in MLS; it would be curious for the Galaxy to abandon faith in the talents of Giovani Dos Santos after just half a season of his company. Midfield (especially if Steven Gerrard moves back to England) or defensive help would seem more of a priority in LA.
For the New York Red Bulls, Klose also seems unnecessary. The current roster's attacking depth is its greatest strength. Another forward to challenge Bradley Wright-Phillips is probably on the shopping list, but BWP is a key player and any back-up might reasonably be expected to be younger than the incumbent starter, though not quite as young as 19-year-old Anatole Abang (who may need another season shuttling between USL and MLS before he is truly a contender for a regular start). A 37-year-old whose greatest asset is name-recognition doesn't fit the bill at the RalfBall-era Red Bulls.
Chicago Fire is an easier rumor to believe in, because the team has been dreadful and needs both fresh players and some star power to reinvigorate the fan base. But the team also needs a new head coach. The Fire has been reported to have interviewed Mike Petke, a proven manager of big-name players he didn't sign, but it still seems premature to be predicting Chicago's next batch of stars.
There is little difficulty in accepting the suggestion Klose and Lazio might want to part company. But the rumor mill may want to freshen its list of alleged suitors if this story wants to gain momentum.