Evaluating Major League Soccer’s next Designated Player target: Carlo Ancelotti

Old men are reigning supreme during this summer’s Major League Soccer transfer season. Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo are set to early bird special their way into the New York City FC midfield for tons of cash (Lampard’s calves will be shipped over from Manchester later) while Steven Gerrard made his LA Galaxy debut this past weekend. To make headlines and spike fan interest, teams are scrambling to find aging superstars to add to their rosters.

Now it appears the Vancouver Whitecaps want a seat at the big pre-retirement party table. Sources have revealed to Soccer Gods that, in an effort to fill an empty designated player slot, the Whitecaps are in negotiations with former Roma and AC Milan midfielder Carlo Ancelotti.

Those sources? Twitter.

The 56-year-old Ancelotti hasn’t been on an active roster in 23 years and has been out of work since leaving Real Madrid’s head coach’s post this spring. Today’s MLS transfer market gives Ancelotti the chance to stay fit for his twilight years and make a possible $5-10 million while he’s at it. That’s a good deal for him and the Whitecaps.

Since you have a ton of free time on your hands, let’s enjoy this full match clip of Ancelotti’s glory days patrolling the AC Milan midfield behind greats like Frank Rijkaard, Marco Van Basten and Ruud Gullit as they took on Diego Maradona and Napoli during the 1988-89 season.

According to scouting resource Wikipedia, “Ancelotti was a cautious, composed, hardworking, and creative, midfielder who was capable of being deployed in several positions; he was regarded as one of the best Italian midfielders of his generation. Although he lacked notable physical and athletic characteristics, he was competent defensively, and he also possessed excellent technical ability, tactical intelligence, vision, and passing range, as well as a powerful and accurate shot.”

He sounds like the perfect veteran regista presence to compliment Vancouver’s young, attack-minded squad. If the Whitecaps are smart, they’ll finalize a deal before the Montreal Impact find out there’s an old Italian player available and make him a better offer.

It’s also possible that Carlo Ancelotti is in Vancouver because that’s where he’s having the back surgery that made him step away from Madrid. Maybe he went to the Whitecaps game because he likes to watch people play soccer, but that’s a boring story.


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