New England general manager Michael Burns said the Revolution remain hopeful that Colombian striker José Moreno will join the club in the near future.
Moreno signed a loan deal with the Revolution and MLS last week, but a report out of Colombia on Tuesday included comments attributed to the forward that declared he wanted to stay at Once Caldas.
Burns said he has spent much of the past 24 hours in talks with Once Caldas officials and the player's representative in order to sort out the situation.
“Hopefully, we're going to be able to talk to the player and resolve any issues he has, if any, but the bottom line is that all contract documents have been signed and we're hopeful that he'll join us in the right frame of mind,” Burns told MLSsoccer.com early Thursday afternoon.
Burns said he traveled to Colombia a week-and-a-half ago to cinch the deal for the 30-year-old striker. After a lengthy meeting between Moreno, his representatives, a translator and Burns, Moreno executed all of the necessary paperwork to seal the move. With the signed document in hand, Burns returned to the US and MLS started the process of obtaining Moreno's P1 work visa.
The comments attributed to Moreno earlier this week have thrown some doubt into the mix at this point, but Burns said the Revolution and Once Caldas remain committed to ironing out any last-minute hiccups.
“The deal is done,” Burns said. “This isn't a situation where you're still negotiating. Everything has been signed and sealed and, after the fact, this pops up. It certainly caught us by surprise. We're not going to overreact at this point, but we are still intending on speaking with the player directly – that has had its challenges in the past 24 hours. We're hoping there's a solution and a resolution to this where the contract is going to be honored.”
At this point, Burns said the club remains focused on a final outcome that involves bringing Moreno to New England rather than exploring alternative options.
“This is a unique one because the deal was and is done,” Burns said. “You have a bunch of contingency plans beforehand and, now, you're thrown into a situation where you may have to look at something after the fact. We're still hopeful and optimistic that we can have conversations with the player and see exactly where he's at before we get too far ahead of ourselves.”