Home champions-league The eight big names who could move to MLS this summer: Arsenal FA Cup winner, Aston Villa man…

The eight big names who could move to MLS this summer: Arsenal FA Cup winner, Aston Villa man…

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Major League Soccer teams constantly use their huge pull power to lure European stars across the pond, and David Beckham’s Inter Miami have led the way on the transfer front recently.

They have managed to land a number of Barcelona legends, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba all arriving at the DRV PNK Stadium. However, Inter Miami are not the only MLS club who can benefit from using players with vast amounts of experience at the top level.

Former Liverpool and Bayern Munich ace Xherdan Shaqiri is at Chicago Fire, Napoli hero Lorenzo Insigne is shining for Toronto, while Sweden star Emil Forsberg swapped RB Leipzig for New York Red Bulls in January.

Here, TEAMtalk has taken a look at the eight stars who might join those players by featuring in MLS next season.

Robert Lewandowski

Barca striker Robert Lewandowski ended his glorious spell with Bayern in July 2022 by moving to Catalonia in a £42.5million deal. So far, he has managed 47 goals in 77 appearances for Barca and helped them to win a La Liga title and the Spanish super cup.

Despite Lewandowski’s brilliant impact for the Spanish giants, there are growing rumours he might leave the club this summer.

Recent reports emerging from Spain have suggested Barca will let the 35-year-old decide his own future, rather than forcing him one way or the other. This is because they have great respect for Lewandowski and all that he has achieved in the game.

Barca chiefs love having the Polish icon in the team but also know that it will not be long before he either leaves or retires, due to his age.

According to TUDN USA, several big MLS teams are looking to make Lewandowski their ‘high profile’ designated player signing in 2024.

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud is well known in Premier League circles, having represented English giants Arsenal and Chelsea. The Frenchman is one of Arsenal’s best goalscorers in the 21st Century, having found the back of the net 105 times in 253 games during a five-and-a-half-year spell at the Emirates.

Giroud helped Arsenal win three FA Cups before landing at London rivals Chelsea in January 2018. He would go on to score a further 39 goals in 119 matches for the Blues and was part of the team which won the 2019 Europa League – beating Arsenal in the final – and the 2021 Champions League.

Giroud left England in the summer of 2021 by joining AC Milan. More silverware has come the 37-year-old’s way in Italy, as Milan won the Scudetto in 2022.

Giroud’s contract at the San Siro is due to expire at the end of the season, and it would not be a surprise if he left Europe for North America in the summer.

In January, the World Cup winner refused to shut down the possibility of moving to an MLS club when asked about his next destination.

Luka Modric

Luka Modric has enjoyed a glittering career since swapping Tottenham Hotspur for Real Madrid in August 2012. He has played a crucial role in Los Blancos winning five Champions Leagues, three league titles and two Spanish cups, while he also lifted the Ballon d’Or in 2018.

However, Modric is now 38 years old, which means his time at Madrid is coming to an end. He is no longer a guaranteed starter at Madrid and manager Carlo Ancelotti is struggling to use him as a substitute due to the huge amount of respect he holds for the player.

In December, Spanish outlet Sport revealed that the La Liga leaders will not be extending his contract, allowing him to leave as a free agent this summer.

There have been rumours of Modric crossing the Madrid/Barcelona divide by linking up with Messi and co. at Inter Miami, though it is more likely he will join a different MLS side when leaving the Spanish capital.

Whichever club ends up landing the Croatian great will be getting one of the most gifted midfielders of all time.

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho has had an eventful career since swapping Liverpool for Barca in a colossal £142m transfer back in January 2018.

The attacking midfielder never lived up to expectations at Barca and was loaned out to Bayern just 18 months after his arrival, where he picked up a Champions League winners’ medal.

Coutinho returned to England in January 2022 by moving to Aston Villa, where he reunited with former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard. Villa went on to spend £17m when capturing Coutinho permanently in July 2022, but he soon fell down the pecking order under Gerrard’s replacement, Unai Emery.

Philippe Coutinho, Aston Villa, October 2022

Philippe Coutinho, Aston Villa, October 2022

The playmaker is currently on loan at Al-Duhail in Qatar, though that transfer will not become a permanent one as he has frustrated his temporary club with several injury problems.

As per Spanish newspaper AS, MLS sides will try to rescue Coutinho in the summer and give him the opportunity to start afresh in North America. Inter Miami, given their strong links with Barca, are the early frontrunners, but LA Galaxy are attempting to snare him first.

Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann is back on Atletico Madrid’s books once again, following an underwhelming spell with Spanish rivals Barca.

The forward recently made history by becoming Atleti’s all-time record goalscorer, with 174 strikes from 365 games. That includes an impressive 18 goals in 33 appearances this season, with Atleti still in both the Champions League and Copa del Rey.

Atleti supporters have fallen in love with Griezmann once again after his previous betrayal, but he might not remain in Spain for long.

In December, the 32-year-old was asked about potentially agreeing a new contract at the Wanda Metropolitano, with his current deal set to expire in June 2026. Griezmann replied: “I know that the club is in favour of being able to make an effort and we will talk about it.

“Beyond Europe, what I would like later is the MLS. I have always recognized that.

“But Atletico will be almost one hundred percent my last club in Europe.

“It’s where I want to be, where I see myself happiest and here I am at home.”

Michail Antonio

Michail Antonio remained at West Ham United last summer, despite being linked with both Al Ettifaq and MLS sides. However, it is more likely he will be on the move this summer.

While West Ham fans love Antonio, it would make sense for David Moyes to offload the Jamaica international as he is now 33 years old and in the twilight years of his career. Plus, it is unclear whether Antonio will be able to shine at the top level again when he returns from the knee injury which has ruled him out since November.

Should the Irons decide to part ways with Antonio and land a new striker, then there is a good chance he will end up in MLS.

During an appearance on The Footballer’s Football podcast, the player admitted that he loves the US and that his agent has held talks about such a move.

Although, Antonio added that he would need to convince his family on the transfer, given the fact it would take them so far away from London.

Sergi Roberto

Sergi Roberto has made 363 appearances for Barca since graduating from their academy, with his first-team debut coming in November 2010.

Roberto has been a loyal servant to Barca and a reliable performer, whether he has been selected in central midfield or at right-back. But he has been backed to follow Xavi out of the club when the manager departs at the end of the campaign.

It comes as little surprise that Inter Miami are aiming to reunite him with his former Barca team-mates Messi, Suarez, Busquets and Alba.

Beckham will be able to snap the Barca captain up on a free transfer, as his contract is due to expire in the summer.

Luis Muriel

Luis Muriel has established himself as a deadly striker in Italy since arriving at Atalanta in July 2019, but the Serie A outfit will soon have to replace him.

Muriel has reportedly agreed to join Inter Miami’s rivals Orlando City, as he looks to head back closer to his native Colombia.

It was initially thought that Muriel would wait until the summer before making the move, but Orlando could benefit from having him in their squad sooner as they are pushing to capture him immediately.

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