- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 26, 2008

Argentine playmaker Marcelo Gallardo is close to signing with D.C. United, according to Agence France Press and South American media outlets.

Team officials would not comment yesterday on Gallardo, but amid reports that negotiations with attacking midfielder Christian Gomez have broken down, the 32-year-old would be an ideal replacement in the center of United’s midfield.

Gallardo, who is out of contract with French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), played 44 times for Argentina (14 goals) and was a member of the 1998 and 2002 World Cup teams.

As for Gomez, it appears his 3½ year stint with United is over.

The 2006 league MVP scored 39 goals in 97 games with United since arriving in late 2004. Gomez helped the team win the 2004 MLS Cup and earned three All-Star selections. He earned a base salary of $216,000 last season and according to reports wanted it doubled.

Gallardo, 32, started his career with Argentine giant River Plate in 1992 and spent four years at French club Monaco. He played in 22 games for PSG in 2007 and scored two goals.

United also has been linked with Peruvian goalie Jose Carvallo, 22, as a replacement for Troy Perkins, whom the team sold to Norwegian club Valerenga last month.

United will travel to Bradenton, Fla., on Wednesday to play against the U.S. U-17 team (Feb. 1), the U.S. U-23 team (Feb. 2), Toronto FC (Feb. 5) Danish club Odense (Feb. 8) and Kansas City (Feb. 12).

The team will then practice in San Antonio.

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