After a long courtship, D.C. United have finally landed Argentine midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron, who becomes Major League Soccer's highest profile signing since David Beckham nearly one year ago, and its fifth designated player. According to SI.com, Veron and United agreed to a $3 million-$4 million deal that will be signed and announced next week after his current contract with Estudiantes de la Plata expires this weekend. The Argentine will be unveiled to the press next Wednesday.
It will be interesting to see how Veron adapts to Major League Soccer. As SI.com points out, his record-breaking $57 million transfer to Manchester United in 2001 and subsequent $30 million transfer to Chelsea in 2003 are "widely regarded as two of the worst signings in the history of British soccer." Indeed, Veron struggled to regain his form after three injury-hit years in England, moving back to Italy with Inter Milan in 2004, before returning to Argentina with Estudiantes in 2006. Veron's best moments came at Parma (1998-99) and Lazio (1999-2001), which he led to UEFA Cup (1999) and Serie A (2000) titles.
The well-traveled playmaker has been part of Argentina's national team since 1996. After a three-year layoff, the 32-year-old Veron was recalled to the national team to play in the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela. Argentina finished second, losing 3-0 in the final to Brazil.