Skip to main content

LeBron James in talks with David Beckham over Miami MLS franchise

November 18, 2013 -- Updated 2339 GMT (0739 HKT)
David Beckham revealed last October that he was ready to start his own MLS franchise after retiring from football. Former England captain Beckham, who played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, will now turn his attention to helping his new Miami franchise become a serious player in U.S. soccer. David Beckham revealed last October that he was ready to start his own MLS franchise after retiring from football. Former England captain Beckham, who played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, will now turn his attention to helping his new Miami franchise become a serious player in U.S. soccer.
HIDE CAPTION
New challenge
Always the plan
LeBron's dream project
Second investment?
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Basketball star reveals talks with football legend over MLS Miami franchise
  • James says talks are at preliminary stage but there is interest from both sides
  • Beckham revealed interest in owning a franchise last month
  • James says Miami is "a great town for soccer" with "lots of great youth soccer players"

(CNN) -- Lebron James has revealed an interest in joining forces with David Beckham to bring a new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise to Miami.

The Miami Heat forward told reporters Monday that preliminary talks were underway with interest from both sides.

"David has become a good friend of mine over the last few years, and I think it would be great for this city to have a football club for sure. There's interest on both sides. It's preliminary talks but there is some open dialogue," James said.

If a partnership is agreed it would be James's second investment in the sport -- the 28-year-old is already a minority shareholder in English Premier League team Liverpool.

"I've grown a great interest in watching the game ... it's a pretty intense sport and my kids love it as well. I've grown to the point where I know exactly what's going on when I'm watching the game."

Beckham, who retired from the professional football in May, publicly expressed his desire to become a club owner at a book launch last month.

Read more: David Beckham 'passionate' about being club owner

All-access pass with LeBron James
Beckham appearance causes stampede

"I'm passionate about staying in football and being an owner of a team is something I'm passionate about. Miami is one of the places we looked at, and we've looked at others too," the 38-year-old said.

The former England international's groundbreaking contract signed with LA Galaxy in 2007 gave him the option to create a new MLS team for $25 million.

"When I signed my contract six, seven years ago, my manager Simon Fuller actually got a clause in the contract that enabled me to have a franchise at the end of my playing career and obviously now I've stopped playing," he said.

Beckham and James appear undeterred by the city's previous foray into MLS which saw Miami Fusion close for business in 2002 after only four years in the league.

Today, the MLS supports 19 teams with a 20th club -- New York City FC -- set to launch in 2015.

James says research into the viability of a franchise is ongoing but he doesn't doubt Miami's potential.

"I think this could be huge, but you never know. I think this is a great town for soccer. There's a lot of soccer players here and great youth soccer players here and people love the city as well so that will definitely help," he said.

Beckham, as you would expect, was typically enthusiastic when quizzed last month about soccer's long-term prospects in the U.S.

"It's going to get better and bigger," said Beckham. "Since I moved there, 11 to 12 teams have come into the league. I have seen the excitement of the people talking about soccer or football."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
CNN Football Club
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Dutch football team head coach Louis van Gaal (L) and Dutch's assistant coach Patrick Kluivert (R) look on before a friendly football match between Belgium and Netherlands in Brussels on August 15, 2012.
Should the Manchester United board have insisted upon a more radical overhaul of the club's football operation when Alex Ferguson stepped down?
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 1326 GMT (2126 HKT)
Sunday Oliseh plays for NIgeria at the 1998 World Cup in France.
When Sunday Oliseh was a young boy, he never dreamed he would one day carry the hopes of 170 million people on football's biggest stage.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
The 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy, which claimed 96 lives, brought the red and the blue halves of Liverpool together.
CNN's Don Riddell says the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has caused irreparable damage to the families of the 96 victims and the survivors.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The Champions league trophy stands on show during the draw for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on March 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Two European heavyweights will collide in the Champions League semifinals after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were drawn together in Switzerland.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
In a city where football is a religion, Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge is fast becoming a deity.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Neymar
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
ADVERTISEMENT