The race to replace David Beckham has heated up as AEG president Tim Leiweke has confirmed the club has made their interest in the thirty year old Brazilian Kaka quite clear. He's not the first star to be linked with the Galaxy as a Beckham replacement, but after Grant Wahl at Sports Illustrated was able to get Leiweke on record this rumor certainly gained some credibility. Link
"We're well aware of Kaká's interest in MLS, and we in turn have made it very clear to him that he's aware of our interest in him," said Tim Leiweke, the president of AEG, which owns the Galaxy. "We have a great relationship with Real Madrid, and just as we worked through a player with them six years ago [Beckham], I'm absolutely convinced we could find the right deal this time, too."
Kaka is currently valued at 16 million pounds, according to Transfermarket.uk, which is why the Kaka to the Galaxy rumor has seemed so incredible. Frank Lampard as a counter example is listed at around four million pounds which is what Robbie Keane was valued at when the LA Galaxy paid his transfer fee.
The Brazilian is under contract at Real Madrid until 2015, so a transfer fee would have to be paid. Kaka is also linked to Paris and AC Milan, so how exactly the Galaxy could outbid them is another fair question. Still, we are talking about the man who got Beckham to come to the United States from Real Madrid.
The rumor alongside the Kaka rumor was that the Galaxy were going to go after a player who would appeal to the Latino market. While there are certainly a good number of opportunities there, not to mention how his time with the Brazilian national team will serve to drum up interests among LA soccer fans, it's tough to see where the money could come from.
Beckham leaving does leave room for a Beckham sized contract, and the fact that Kaka is an adidas man certainly helps the sponsorship opportunities that could be added to sweeten the deal. When Beckham's contract was announced at a ridiculously high figure it was mostly including sponsorship deals.
Grant Wahl in his article goes on to say the Leiweke basically answered the question of who the better fit is (Kaka or Lampard) by pointing out that the Galaxy could use a star they could market on the Latino version of Time Warner Cable while already having some marketable English speaking stars.
Could Kaka be wearing a Galaxy sash next year? The signs are starting to point to yes.