NYCFC's 2017 MLS campaign is barely over, but the offseason rumor mill is already cranking out some juicy tidbits.
As the January transfer window inches closer, NYCFC could have their eyes on a replacement for Andrea Pirlo, who recently announced his retirement. His absence leaves a big hole in New York City's midfield, but if you believe the reports out of NBC Sports' Pro Soccer Talk, that spot could be filled by Manchester City's Yaya Toure.
"A source close to the situation told Pro Soccer Talk that if a move were to be completed that 'Man City would prefer if the player moves in July' in order to 'accommodate the club’s busy fixture list once 2018 hits.'
"The three-time World Cup attendee would not require a Designated Player roster spot, according to a source, which has peaked NYCFC’s interest in the player."
Additionally, MLS reporter Jeff Rueter had this to say:
If those reports that Toure could make his way across the pond sans Designated Player tag prove true, that means NYCFC may still be on the lookout for another big name signing to bolster the squad ahead of the 2018 season. Of course, that would be a big boost for the rumor mill and City.
City's European connections in this week's headlines don't stop with Yaya. It looks like Head Coach Patrick Vieira helped Montreal land their new manager, Remi Garde. The two were teammates at English powerhouse Arsenal during the late 1990s, and Vieira's insight helped seal the deal.
Garde told MLS: "In the course of these discussions with him he told me a lot of good about the quality of the work he could accomplish here in this league, because it is a growing league, so it opened my mind. It ultimately got me interested, and then there was this contact with the Montreal Impact.
"What he told me about the MLS was important for me to hear, as well the connection with Mr. Saputo was good as well. I don't know, I had a good feeling and I think that it was a good opportunity for me to come to this club."
Elsewhere, David Villa is, unsurprisingly, moving units. El Capitan's shirt has been flying off the shelves all season, and the numbers are finally in: Villa has the fifth-highest selling MLS jersey. He wasn't the only NYCFCer in the top 10, however. Andrea Pirlo clocked in at number nine, while Jack Harrison landed at 13.
Also doing big numbers is City Football Group's Preetam Sam, who made his way onto the Forbes 30 under 30 list in the sports category. Preetam has been helping NYCFC do big things, and we'd like to congratulate him on this achievement!
Shifting gears back toward football, Inside World Football has a write-up on our newest signing, eSports player Joey Calabro.
"Like CFG-owned Manchester City in the Premier League, NYCFC were the first MLS club to sign a professional eSports player," writes Paul Nicholson. "The addition of Calabro to play in the Xbox division expands the club’s global reach through eSports.
"Calabro was ranked third in the Americas on Xbox in October and recently competed in the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) Grand Final in London, advancing to the Quarterfinals of the competition."
READ: NYCFC Sign Joey Calabro