Chivas USA tight-lipped over Zé Roberto rumors
CARSON, Calif. – The rumor machine of Brazilian World Cup veteran Zé Roberto targeting MLS has started up again, and this time, the team in question is Chivas USA.
According to a recent report out of France, the agent of the 36-year-old Brazilian midfielder said his client had a contract offer on the table from the Rojiblancos, in addition to interest in the Middle East and Germany.
Whether or not there is any validity to the offer, the Rojiblancos have remained tightlipped on the issue with the North American transfer deadline ending on Friday.
In an e-mail to MLSsoccer.com, Chivas USA general manager Jose Domene stated that, “[Chivas USA] won’t comment on any player that is signed with a club and that is in competition out of respect for that club.”
Zé Roberto is out of contract with German club Hamburger SV as of the
end of the 2011 Bundesliga season and as per FIFA rules, can sign a
contract within six months of the expiration of his active contract.
While Domene did not comment specifically on Zé Roberto, Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser admitted that he believed there had been some discussions between the Rojiblancos and the player.
“I’m interested in any great player that we can acquire,” said Fraser, before joking, “If [Lionel] Messi wants to play for us, then we can talk about it. To be honest, I’m sure that we’ve had some discussions somewhere along the line, but I don’t know where it stands at the moment.”
This is not the first time the Brazilian midfielder has been involved in rumors that link him to MLS. During the past two seasons, there were several rumors that the two-time World Cup veteran was a target for the New York Red Bulls – he claimed to have a contract offer this past January.
Zé Roberto has been with Hamburger SV since 2009 joining the club from Bayern Munich. The Brazilian appeared in the World Cup for Brazil in both 1998 and 2006. In addition, the midfielder has made highest number of appearances for any international player in the history of the Bundesliga.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano