Queretaro president says he thought Vancouver Whitecaps star Camilo was out of contract

Camilo closeup

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The saga over the potential transfer of Vancouver Whitecaps striker Camilo Sanvezzo to Querétaro FC took a further twist Thursday evening, as the president of the Mexican club told CentralDeportiva.com it was his understanding the reigning MLS Golden Boot winner is available on a free transfer.

Adolfo Ríos said in an interview that his club had been approached by Camilo's representatives about a possible move. In that same interview, the president told CentralDeportiva.com that the player and his agent have accepted the Mexican side's offer.

During the negotiations, Camilo's representatives told Querétaro the player's contract expired Dec. 31, according to Ríos.

While that may technically be true, the Whitecaps exercised their star forward's option weeks ago, which makes the player who bagged 22 goals in MLS play Vancouver property for the duration of 2014.

So where's the confusion here?

According to the Whitecaps, no contact has been made with Querétaro over a possible sale, and they expect the player to report for preseason camp later in January.

As for whether it's possible Camilo's agent snuck in some sort of clause which would allow the Brazilian to get out of his contract, the Whitecaps insist there's no chance of that, with a club spokesman telling MLSsoccer.com “that's not possible.”

So what's next?

Apart from the drama, it appears not much that will come of this, and Camilo will be back in MLS this spring. However, if Camilo goes through with the paperwork and breaches his Whitecaps contract unilaterally, there are precedents for how these situations can be handled.

In 2005, French center back Philippe Mexes put pen to paper on a deal with Roma while still on the books at Auxerre. While the Italian side thought they were getting a French international for free, after Auxerre cried foul, FIFA stepped in and ordered Roma to pay eight million euros (this was later reduced to seven million euros following an appeal to Europe's Court of Arbitration for Sport).

Additionally, Mexes was suspended for six weeks, and Roma were hit with a year-long transfer ban.

As for the player's agent, he didn't get off, either. FIFA handed Olivier Jouanneaux a six-month ban and fined him $41,000.