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Report: Antonio Di Natale will leave Udinese in June; considering move to "New York" or Empoli

An old but persistent rumor is alive again...

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The future of Antonio Di Natale has been in question for several months, but idea of him leaving Udinese appeared to be steadily receding as the striker closes in on Roberto Baggio's Serie A scoring record (Di Natale is two goals short of surpassing Baggio to become the sixth-highest scorer in the history of Italian top-flight soccer).

It is receding no more. Bruno Carpeggiani is reportedly Di Natale's agent, and he has told Gazzetta dello Sport it is "very difficult" to see his client returning to Udinese next season. It is, says Carpeggiani, "the end of a cycle" and "not a decision of an economic nature".

What next for the 37-year-old striker? Well, apparently a return to Empoli is a possibility: it is the club where Di Natale started his career. And, of course, there is the longstanding rumor that he might be ready to join "MLS in New York".

We covered this ground in February, when it was suggested that a "New York" club had offered $9 million for the services of one of Serie A's all-time greatest goal-scorers. At the time, OaM thought the New York Cosmos the most likely source of this rumor, but all three NY clubs came out to deny any contact with Di Natale.

But then the Cosmos let slip that there had been discussion with the player after all. The "New York" rumor was reiterated in March, and is now getting another airing in April.

The reports out of Italy persist with the suggestion Di Natale is thinking about a move to MLS. But unless something has changed at either NYC FC or the New York Red Bulls in recent months, the most likely NY-based candidate for the Italian's signature would still appear to be the Cosmos.