The report comes in the context of Internazionale's ongoing effort to acquire Lavezzi's services from Paris Saint-Germain. The Italian newspaper identifies two major factors in Inter's favor: PSG has allegedly shown signs of coming round to the Serie A club's valuation of the player (said to be approximately $6.76 million; PSG was thought to want closer to $7.9 million); Lavezzi's interest in moving to Italy is illustrated by his alleged rejection of the chance to earn $17 million in MLS between now and his 35th birthday. The identity of the MLS team in question is not revealed.
There are several elements of La Gazetta's story that don't quite add up with regard to this hypothetical MLS transfer. First and foremost: the MLS transfer window is closed and Lavezzi is under contract, so he can't make any sort of move to the North American league right now. Easily explained, of course: the offer could have arrived earlier in August, before MLS shut its transfer window.
The next issue, however, is the transfer fee: PSG was though to have wanted as much as $12.4 million for Lavezzi at one stage. The climb down to $7.9 million - and perhaps $6.75 million if Inter gets its way - is relatively recent. This would imply that there may have been a MLS club willing to pay almost $30 million in combined wages and transfer fees for the player. That is not unprecedented (Sebastian Giovinco is thought to be on a five-year deal at Toronto that will pay out $35 million total by the time it expires) but it is still extraordinary money for any team in the league to shell out.
Finally, La Gazetta is reporting Lavezzi may not move to Inter because he and the club cannot reach agreement on a salary. The Argentine is thought to be on at least $4.5 million per year at PSG, and his contract doesn't expire until 2016. It is suggested Inter may wait until Lavezzi's contract expires to be able to maximize the resources it can channel toward his desired wages.
A guaranteed five-year contract worth $3.4 million per year is a substantial offer to a 30-year-old player, but if the player is already taking home more than $4.5 million annually and has Inter knocking at his door, it's easy to understand why he might decide to take his chances on shorter-term opportunities.
Still, if PSG doesn't manage to off-load Lavezzi in this summer transfer window, then it is likely his name will pop up again in January or even next summer. If it is true a MLS club was minded to throw $17 million at him this summer, that same bidder might well return with a new offer in 2016.
Is that club the New York Red Bulls? Unlikely. Lavezzi is a versatile attacking player who might fit RBNY's system very well - but the club has a glut of attacking options, several recently signed. And a five-year commitment to a player who will be 31 before the 2016 season hits its stride (his birthday is in May) seems outside the club's stated ambition to focus on younger transfer targets who will give the team their best years or conceivably increase in value while with RBNY.
Consider this report a potential sneak peek at MLS's January rumor mill, though likely not one with any direct impact on the Red Bulls.