David Beckham was today on the brink of launching a Major League Soccer team in Miami.
The former England captain, who retired from playing at the end of last season, has made no secret of his desire to set up a franchise.
Having considered other locations, including Montreal, San Diego and Orlando, the 38-year-old has settled on Miami.
Beckham, who had the option of becoming an MLS team owner written into his contract when he joined the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, will pay a discounted rate of £16m to start an ‘expansion’ team, which he hopes will be up and running by 2016.
The MLS has yet to approve his plans but its executive vice-president, Dan Courtemanche, said: “We know that Miami is one of the most passionate soccer markets in North America.
“We have met with David Beckham regarding ownership of an expansion franchise, and we look forward to David one day owning an MLS club.”
Beckham is looking to raise several hundred million pounds of investment to fund the set-up costs, including putting together the squad of players and building a stadium.
There are 19 MLS teams and league commissioner Don Garber hopes to expand to 24 by 2020.