NEW YORK – Former Brazil national team star Zé Roberto has told a Brazilian news outlet that he has received a two-year contract offer from the New York Red Bulls.
The former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder, who currently plays for Hamburg in Germany, told Terra.com that he is considering the offer but that he wants to see out his current deal with the Bundesliga, which expires in June.
“The possibility exists that I will play for two years in the United States,” Zé Roberto said. “The club would be Red Bull, which has shown interest in signing me since last year. But my contract with Hamburg will terminate in the middle of this year.
“It would not be easy for Hamburg to let me go and it would also be a lack of professional ethics. A man’s word, for me, means a lot. … In this moment, I don’t see the possibility of even talking about terminating my contract at Hamburg.”
When contacted by MLSsoccer.com on the story, the New York Red Bulls declined comment.
The player indicated that a potential signing with RBNY would be connected to the academy that Red Bull has set up in Brazil.
“There is a whole project and I don’t deny that it’s possible for me to go to the United States,” he said.
In the same article, Zé Roberto credited his longevity to the fact that he has never suffered a major injury during his career. And he has no plans to stop playing any time soon.
Per FIFA rules, players can negotiate and sign pre-contracts within six months of the expiration of their active contract. The 36-year-old is also reportedly entertaining offers from the Middle East. However, the lure of returning home to Brazil may also factor in the equation.
“My kids are putting a lot of pressure on me to return to Brazil and now I see that money is not what’s more important,” he said. “The heart would decide Brazil. The family aspect carries a lot of weight.”