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Insider Notes: Galaxy's Chicharito Alternative, Trump-Infantino Connection, Suarez's MLS Interest

If the LA Galaxy had not landed Javier "Chicharito" Hernández, the club's center forward target would have been Rogelio Funes Mori of Monterrey, sources tell SI. 

Funes Mori, 28, would have been available on a $10 million transfer fee and an annual salary of $4 million to $5 million. MLS teams have landed several Designated Players from Liga MX this season, including Alan Pulido (Sporting Kansas City), Franco Jara (FC Dallas, coming in summer) and Lucas Zelarayán (Columbus Crew), and the fact that Monterrey is willing to sell Funes Mori—and that the player is willing to move to MLS—means he could be a target for other teams looking for a DP forward. 

At the head of the list is expansion club Inter Miami, whose manager, Diego Alonso, previously coached Funes Mori at Monterrey, though LAFC could end up in the market for a forward if it sells Diego Rossi.

Here are a couple of more notes from around the soccer world, as we rekindle our Insider feature on a more regular basis:

The developing relationship between Trump, Infantino 

FIFA president Gianni Infantino introduced President Trump at a dinner in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, the latest sign that the two men have developed a close relationship. 

A source close to Infantino pointed out that the event on Tuesday was a dinner hosted by the White House, and Trump invited Infantino to be the one who did his introduction. How did they become pals? Infantino met Trump when U.S. Soccer was putting together its bid (with Mexico and Canada) to host World Cup 2026. The federation’s connection to the White House, I’m told, was Jared Kushner (whose recent cover story in TIME magazine showed a file in his desk cabinet named “FIFA”). 

Infantino and Trump now contact each other directly, leaving U.S. Soccer out of things most of the time, and the FIFA president has been seen several times with Trump in recent months, including at the White House and at Trump’s resort in New Jersey.

On Tuesday, CNBC’s Eamon Javers reported that Infantino had this to say to Trump: “I have to inform you that the U.S. is on the verge of becoming the soccer power of the world.” 

That’s certainly the case in the women’s game, but not in the men’s. The source close to Infantino said that he was referring to the economic side of soccer in the United States.

Donald Trump and Gianni Infantino in Davos

Lodeiro: Suarez "curious" about MLS

There’s no doubt that Nicolás Lodeiro has had a giant impact on MLS since his arrival in Seattle, winning two MLS Cup titles and reaching three finals. But Lodeiro is also good friends with Barcelona star Luis Suárez, his fellow Uruguayan international. Last week I asked Lodeiro about the potential that Suárez (who’s currently out injured for four months) might someday come to MLS. 

“He is curious, very curious,” Lodeiro said. “Right now not as much, because he’s busy with things [at Barcelona], but he has asked me about things with the league. He asks about my team. When we win, he’ll congratulate me, and when we lose he’ll make a joke or say it’s a disaster. But he’s curious. I do think someday he could join a team in the league. He still has a passion for soccer and is playing at a big club, but I have no doubt—or at least I hope—that he comes to MLS.”