It began with a single Tweet on Thursday, from Italian reporter Alessandro Alciato about the future of superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
(Translation: In the next few hours Ibra will announce his farewell to Psg. Most likely target: Los Angeles @SkySport #adieu)
Now, who knows what this means. Maybe Zlatan is coming to LA on vacation! Maybe this reporter made it up!
Initial speculation has had it that he's going to the LA Galaxy:
Sky Italia report that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will announce in the next few hours that he is leaving PSG. Likely destination: Los Angeles Galaxy— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) May 12, 2016
Sure, that makes sense on one level. The Galaxy love stars! And they actually field a soccer team at present!
But we cannot forget the Galaxy's evident Designated Player logjam, and the seeming financial gymnastics to get the current crop of stars on the team.
And it's MLS, so Discovery Rights might play a role if he comes to the league, meaning teams may have to form a line, in a sense, to put their hat in the Zlatan sweepstakes:
Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) May 12, 2016
What if...hear me out...instead of Zlatan going to the Galaxy, he actually signs for Los Angeles Football Club?
Remember this from the new LAFC stadium renderings last week?
Is it possible LAFC actually did put an easter egg in their renderings about signing a player?
Now, the reasons why this is unlikely: The team won't start playing until 2018, so Zlatan would have to find a season or two to go out on loan and play. He could get hurt or wear out before he plays for LAFC. He's 34 right now, and will be 36 by March 2018. On one hand, Didier Drogba has done big things at an older age recently in MLS, but Frank Lampard has not. There may be current MLS teams that have more of a case than LAFC do to sign him. Most tangibly, maybe the Galaxy really are the frontrunners here, and LAFC's aspirations are but a dream.
But it could make a lot of sense, too. Zlatan has expressed interest in playing in MLS in the past. He helped "build" Paris Saint-Germain into the powerhouse of Ligue 1, even if that effort was assisted by decades of history and hundreds of millions of Euros. He may find a start-up club where he can really make a mark to be appealing.
And for LAFC, signing one of the five most recognizable players on the planet could certainly help them get some name recognition, around the world. And again, assuming he doesn't suffer a career-ending injury or fall all the way off the cliff, he should be a good piece for an MLS team, no question. Signing him would continue to signal LAFC's top class aspirations.
So we'll see. A report out of Italy is just that at the moment, even if it's got MLS observers talking. And if Zlatan doesn't end up coming to LAFC or the Galaxy and just goes to the beach with his family, well, that's that. Until the next time the rumor mill starts churning...
What do you think? Leave a comment below!