GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Rafa Márquez will not be returning to Club Atlas this offseason, according to his agent.
Although a loan deal for the New York Red Bulls midfielder/defender to return to the club where he began his career had gained momentum in the Guadalajara press in recent days, Eduardo Hernández confirmed to various media outlets that his client would not be leaving New York this offseason.
“The Red Bulls have him in their plans for next season and want Rafa to continue,” Hernández told mediotiempo.com on Thursday. “It’s impossible for him to be with Atlas, unfortunately. The response from the Red Bulls was very clear.”
The Red Bulls declined to comment when contacted by MLSsoccer.com. And although Márquez could still train with Atlas, especially with a friendly match for Mexico likely to take place on the Feb. 29, 2012, international FIFA date, a temporary loan looks unlikely, according to Hernández.
“[The Red Bulls] didn’t accept it,” said Hernández in a separate interview with ESPN Radio Fórmula. “It wasn’t possible.”
Atlas vice president Víctor Flores said the club would not close the door on the 32-year-old World Cup veteran, who rose through the Atlas youth system, if the Red Bulls should change their stance.
“Until it is completely collapsed, we won’t be commenting further,” Flores told mediotiempo.com. “What is for sure is that there are three parties in the negotiation, and one of those is the Red Bulls.”
Márquez joined the Red Bulls as a Designated Player from Barcelona in August 2010 on a four-year deal. He has repeatedly stated his desire to end his playing career at Atlas and experienced an up-and-down season in 2011.
Tom Marshall can be reached via email@example.com and on Twitter: @mexicoworldcup