Chicago miss out in Zidane swoop

January 24, 2007
By ESPNsoccernet

Chicago Fire general manager John Guppy has confirmed the franchise made an unsuccessful attempt to lure Zinedine Zidane out of retirement.

Zidane, 34, quit the game after last summer's World Cup - a tournament at which the former Juventus and Real Madrid midfielder starred before being sent-off in the final for headbutting Italy defender Marco Materazzi.

And it would seem he has no intention of changing his mind and following former Madrid team-mate David Beckham, who has agreed a five-year deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, to the MLS.

Guppy told the Chicago Tribune: 'We reached out to Zidane. But so has every other MLS club. The feedback we've all gotten is that he's retired.'

The Fire also enquired about Swede Henrik Larsson, currently on loan at Manchester United from his hometown club Helsingborg.

'We were very interested in signing him,' Guppy said. 'But he made it clear that he wanted to return to his hometown.

'It wasn't about us not offering the right deal. It was a personal decision.

'When Manchester United came around, it was something he couldn't turn down.

His representative told us when his loan with Manchester United is over, he's going back to Helsingborg.'

A more realistic target is Fulham's American striker Brian McBride.

Guppy revealed: 'We offered Brian a contract.

'He said he would love to play in Chicago but needed to consider his options.'