David Beckham back in Miami eyeing a Major League Soccer team

Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:32pm EST
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By Kevin Gray

MIAMI (Reuters) - Retired English soccer star David Beckham toured potential stadium sites in Miami on Wednesday, signaling he is forging ahead with his interest in owning a new Major League franchise in the United States.

It was the second time in five months that Beckham, a former star with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the MLS club L.A. Galaxy, has visited Miami.

Last month, a source familiar with the negotiations told Reuters that Beckham, who retired from professional soccer earlier this year, has chosen the city as the site for an expansion team. His MLS player contract included an option to create a team for $25 million.

On Wednesday, Beckham visited the campus of Florida International University and the Marlins Park baseball stadium with one possible investor in the MLS team, Bolivian-born billionaire Marcelo Claure, CEO of Miami-based wireless services company Brightstar Corporation.

The two looked at the stadiums as potential sites until a possible permanent soccer stadium can be built, said Vanessa Santana-Penate, a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade county mayor Carlos Gimenez.

The visits came a day after Beckham and Claure dined with Gimenez in Claure's Miami Beach home, Santana-Penate said.

Claure, who owns his own soccer team in Bolivia, posted a picture on his Instagram account with Beckham and Simon Fuller, whose management company 19 Entertainment handles Beckham's business affairs.

"An unforgettable night in my house in Miami," Claure wrote in Spanish, all three men smiling in the picture.   Continued...

Former England footballer David Beckham watches the international rugby union match between England and Argentina at Twickenham in London November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth