Carlos Tévez is in terrific form for Juventus, which is why I was surprised to learn from three sources this week that Tévez’s representatives have contacted MLS teams recently saying he’s interested in joining the league.
Tévez is 31 and has one more year on his contract with Juve. There has been talk of his interest in going back to Boca Juniors in his native Argentina, and Tévez certainly wouldn’t come cheaply, especially if it was this summer on a transfer fee. But two of the people I spoke to told me Tévez’s interest in coming seems genuine and not just a leverage play on Juventus.
Tévez, who drew and converted the decisive penalty in Juventus's 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals, leads Serie A with 20 goals and is part of Argentina's provisional roster for this summer's Copa America.
Here are a couple of more insider items from around the soccer world:
USWNT not taking any chances with Morgan
I spoke to U.S. women’s coach Jill Ellis on Monday night, and she said she's not taking any chances with Alex Morgan’s bruised left knee.
Not only is Morgan not playing this weekend against Mexico, but Ellis said Morgan is only 50-50 to play in the final World Cup tune-up on May 30 vs. South Korea.
Ellis said she still expects Morgan will be ready for the World Cup opener against Australia. Meanwhile, she said wide midfielder Tobin Heath is almost set to return from injury, which means she may move Christen Press to the forward spot.
In other news, Ellis said she would have preferred to play at least two of the three send-off games on artificial turf to get ready for that surface in Canada, but she is pleased that the team is training on a high-quality artificial turf field in Southern California right now.
Platini to push for expanded World Cup?
Barring any last-minute surprises, Sepp Blatter is set to run away with the FIFA presidential election at the end of the month. What could happen after that? Well, one UEFA insider tells me he thinks it will cause UEFA president and Blatter rival Michel Platini to push even harder to expand the World Cup from 32 to 40 teams, most likely for 2022 in Qatar.
Platini already got his wish to expand the Euro from 16 to 24 teams, and with UEFA coming out as a big loser if Blatter wins, World Cup expansion could be the only real way for UEFA not to lose any spots in the World Cup.