David Beckham knows a thing or two about glamour. After his time at Manchester United, he played for Real Madrid, L.A. Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain—a worldwide tour of the globe's most stunning cities.
So it comes as no surprise that he is looking to bring a sense of beauty and charm to his MLS franchise, Inter Miami, when they kick off the 2020 MLS season.
Becks made waves when he headed across the Atlantic Ocean to move to Los Angeles in 2007—raising the league's profile to levels never seen before.
Now he's looking to do the same thing as an owner. Along with co-owner Jorge Mas and sporting director Paul McDonough, Beckham has been searching for the perfect players to help him launch their new club. It's an exciting time for him and everyone attached.
"Beckham seems to be loved and embraced by the majority of soccer fans in South Florida," explains Michelle Kaufman, a sportswriter for the Miami Herald. "Every time he comes to town, there is a buzz."
From the moment Beckham got the green light for his Miami MLS franchise team in January 2018, it has been expected that big names would be linked with him.
The rumours have been mouthwatering: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Gareth Bale, Edinson Cavani, David Silva, Radamel Falcao, to name just a few.
But how realistic is it that Inter Miami will sign superstar names at a time when most MLS clubs have stopped adopting such an approach?
"Beckham, Jorge Mas and the others in the group (as well as sporting director Paul McDonough) are being very ambitious and selective in their player acquisitions," Kaufman told Bleacher Report. "Major League Soccer has salary restrictions that do not exist in most leagues around the world, so MLS owners can't just open their chequebooks and sign whatever players they want.
"Each team is allowed up to three 'Designated Players'—players whose salaries are above the team's salary cap. Some teams have just one DP, some have two, some have three. This team will have three, and I believe two of the three will be big-name players from Europe.
"The rest of the roster will be made up of young talent from Latin America, up to five players from current MLS teams (through the Expansion Draft on Nov. 19) and a few college players."
It has helped to build anticipation around the city.
Already there are three main fan groups building a base for the club's inaugural campaign, and Max Ramos—who is "Coordinator of the Cohort" for The Siege Supporters Club—knows the team mean serious business.
"The buzz is really starting to ramp up," he told B/R. "The Siege is Inter Miami CF's most inclusive supporter's club. We started technically earlier this year, but we've been part of an effort to bring MLS to Miami since 2013 when Beckham announced he would bring a team here.
"We currently have 200 paid members and are looking to grow and build for March 2020.
"Miami will come out to see stars, a good, winning team made of some recognisable names with talented youngsters from the communities that make up our region as well.
"We expect some big names to be rumoured, obviously, but really only want big-time names added to our roster if it makes sense for the team on the field because winning is the best marketing tool."
The club has begun putting together its roster, with Julian Carranza, Matias Pellegrini, Christian Makoun, David Norman Jr. and George Acosta on board so far.
But bigger names are coming, so here is how we see the rumours shaping up.
Get Excited: Edinson Cavani
MLS has moved away from its label as a retirement league, with most clubs taking a fresh approach to recruitment and veering away from European-based talent at the end of their careers.
Beckham does not believe that an ageing player is necessarily such a bad thing, though—if they can still provide a sense of excitement, class and professionalism.
Most big names linked to Miami are quickly dismissed by league insiders who are in the know, but interestingly, the potential signing of 32-year-old forward Cavani is never knocked down.
His contract at Paris Saint-Germain is due to expire in 2020, and the club has not opened talks over a new deal.
His Uruguayan roots are enticing, along with the fact that he is regarded as a lethal goalscorer who could have a similar game-changing impact to Zlatan Ibrahimovic at L.A. Galaxy.
Cavani is believed to be open to this move—which makes sense on many levels.
Looking Good: David Silva
At the beginning of the 2019-20 campaign, Silva announced this would be his final season at Manchester City, and sources are convinced his next destination will be Miami.
Much of this is driven by an article in The Independent, in which journalist Tony Evans reported that Silva would make the switch.
B/R sources have confirmed the interest and state that a firm offer has been pushed in the direction of the Manchester City midfielder, but Silva has not agreed to terms. However, they do feel it is the best offer he has had.
Beckham was 31 when he announced he would be joining the Galaxy from Real Madrid, and now he is looking for someone of similar stature, condition and ability to help Inter Miami make an impact.
Silva, who would not be able to join Inter Miami until the Premier League season ends in May, is 33 but has a style of play that should allow him to continue to perform at a high level. You can build a team around him, and his CV would inspire his team-mates.
Don't Rule Out: Luis Suarez
Beckham wants signings the local community already adore, and Suarez has been one of the most intriguing targets since the beginning.
There is a feeling this could be his final year in Barcelona, and because of that, Beckham and his team have been making it clear they would be interested in taking him to the U.S.
The player is aware of the option, but nothing is moving forward. Word from sources in Spain suggests he wants to see how this term goes both personally and for the team before making any major decisions on what happens next.
Suarez would have a good financial offer on the table if he fancies it—but Miami are having to presume this is not a signing that is likely for their first season.
Very Unlikely: Zinedine Zidane
Beckham and Zinedine Zidane have a good relationship from their time together at Real Madrid as players. One year ago, Beckham seriously began drawing up candidates to become Miami's head coach, and Zidane was top of the list.
He was out of work at the time, and sources said he showed some interest in the role. But in March, he returned to the Santiago Bernabeu—and even though things have not been great this season, Beckham does not expect him to become available soon.
Because of his ambition, Beckham has even thought about the prospect of getting Jose Mourinho as manager since then, according to sources. But as he narrows down his targets, the names now considered more likely by local insiders are former Madrid boss Santiago Solari and even former United manager David Moyes.
Not Happening Yet: Lionel Messi
Becks is super ambitious—so why not set the bar as high as possible?
Early on, after the Miami project was launched, there was talk about Ronaldo arriving. But more recently, it is Messi who has been discussed as the dream signing.
A report in Goal has revealed how Messi has a clause in his contract that allows him to walk away at the end of every season, which kicked in once he turned 32.
Sources say inroads have been made to let the player know the door is open to him whenever he fancies a new challenge—but the time for him to quit La Liga is not here just yet.