Did anyone pay too much heed to last week's story that Ronaldinho may, at some point, have been negotiating a multi-million dollar deal with the LA Galaxy? As Greg Lalas writes, "the whole episode smacked of agent-team gamesmanship."
The reported possible $50 million a year deal for the 28-year-old Brazilian was "simply too symmetrical" with the David Beckham deal, says Lalas, and was "perfectly manicured for maximum effect in the European press." Furthermore, the story only broke when Ronaldinho apparently rejected the deal, with the player's representatives saying that the Barcelona midfielder still wanted a move to a Champions League club. In other words, the whole LA story was "clearly a PR stunt for someone to gain leverage."
Lalas called his brother, Alexi, who happens to be LA's president. "Leverage is everything when negotiating, but most of the stories linking players to the Galaxy are complete nonsense," said the Galaxy man. But with European clubs having no idea how Major League Soccer's Designated Player and salary cap rules actually work, agents are using MLS as a bargaining chip. "Signing David," says Alexi, "gave us a new level of credibility, and agents have looked to use this to their benefit."