The former England captain had a clause in his original contract with LA Galaxy allowing him to buy an MLS club with a 25 per cent discount and has almost settled on Florida, where the MLS are keen to expand. He is expected to announce progress before Christmas once his co-investors are in place.
According to Sale, Beckham is in the final round of negotiations with potential backers—a group which could include Bolivian-born billionaire Marcelo Claure, who failed in his attempts to launch an MLS franchise in Florida four years ago.
UPDATE: Tuesday, October 29, at 4:50 p.m. ET
From Rob Harris of the Associated Press:
I'm told David Beckham has decided on Miami as the location he wants to exercise option to start MLS franchise. Details on @AP_Sports— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) October 29, 2013
---End of Update---
Beckham retired from football at the end of last season, breaking down in tears as he was substituted for Paris Saint-Germain, but he has quickly set about filling the ball-shaped void in his life.
And while his time in America wasn’t without its hiccups—Landon Donovan's outburst will be remembered as much as the back-to-back MLS Cup wins—his mere presence was enough to reel in the worldwide press and subsequently improve soccer’s image.
Currently the best players only see America as an option after they’ve enjoyed their best years, highlighted by Thierry Henry’s move to the New York Red Bulls and, more recently, Clint Dempsey’s switch to Seattle.
Europe has the world’s most coveted competition in the Champions League and boasts five leagues swarming with elite international stars. If America is to truly compete then it must create a continental competition to rival it.
But the lure of playing under a Beckham-owned team might just persuade some, particularly those on the fringes of European football, that the future of the sport is on the other side of the Atlantic.
Perhaps it will mean young British players who are struggling to break into their Premier League sides decide to risk a trip to America in the knowledge they are guaranteed first-team football and a decent wage without the hassle of learning a new language.
Just when you think it’s reached its limits, "Brand Beckham" expands further. His return to America signals that he intends on finishing the job he started and making America a global player in soccer.