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Jun 2, 2013

Beckham in Miami for MLS investment

David Beckham visited Miami on Saturday to view the city's sports facilities as he looks into the idea of investing in a new Major League Soccer team.

• Beckham eyes franchise

Beckham, 38, who retired from football last month, had a clause in his contract from his time as a player at LA Galaxy giving him the option to take up ownership of a club in the MLS for a set fee of $25 million.

The former England captain met with representatives of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, however, it is believed that there are no agreements yet in place and that he is considering other cities.

Miami's mayor, Manny Diaz, said earlier this week that Beckham was coming to Florida to look into basing a club there.

"Yes, he is coming," Diaz is quoted as saying by Reuters. "My understanding is that it's very exploratory at this stage."

Diaz was involved the last time there were discussions over a Miami-based MLS franchise in 2009, when a project involving La Liga giants Barcelona and billionaire Marcelo Claure - owner of Bolivian club Bolivar - failed to get off the ground.

There is not currently an MLS franchise in Florida, nor any of the closest dozen or so states in the region. The closest clubs to Miami are Houston Dynamo to the west and DC United to the north.

The last time the state had any MLS franchises was in 2001, the year both the Fort Lauderdale-based Miami Fusion and the Tampa Bay Mutiny folded.

New York City FC, the joint venture between Premier League side Manchester City and baseball giants New York Yankees, will enter the MLS in 2015 as the league's 20th franchise.

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