Del Piero rumour just that

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

An Internet rumour that Toronto FC had offered a Major League Soccer contract to Juventus star striker Alessandro Del Piero for next season appears to be dead in the water.

On Thursday a posting on the Big Soccer website alleged that TFC already had made a deal with the 33-year-old former captain of Italy's World Cup winning national team.

But yesterday Del Piero was named as the next big target by England's Queen's Park Rangers in a move to restore some glory to that team after its takeover by Formula One racing tycoon Bernie Ecclestone and Renault F-1 team boss Flavio Briatore.

TARGET

New QPR manager Francesco Guidolin has said that the legendary Italian striker would be his first target after being told he has more than $30 million US to spend on players in order to revive fortunes of his new club.

"Del Piero would need persuading to join the second tier of English football but may be convinced to move to London by the new regime's ambitious plans," a team source told the Daily Mail newspaper.

According to the Daily Mail, Briatore knows that signing Del Piero would put Rangers on the map.

And Guidolin already has made moves to bring in ex-Juventus chief scout Franco Ceravelo to QPR -- and that link could prove influential.

Rangers remain at the bottom of the Championship standings and may be in relegation trouble but Briatore is desperate to make them the glamour club they once were.

Meanwhile, TFC will face Los Angeles Galaxy tonight (CBC 1:30 a.m.) with a line-up depleted by national team call-ups.

Missing from the starting 11 are Maurice Edu, off to play with the U.S. side against Switzerland, Andrew Boyens, who will suit up for New Zealand against Fiji and Carl Robinson, who is playing on the Welsh side against Cyprus.

Galaxy will play again without their $250 million midfielder David Beckham, who is still out with a knee injury.


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