BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chicago Fire coach Frank Klopas said on Thursday that he wants to keep midfielder Sebastián Grazzini after his contract expires at the end of the month, and the club has the power to do so with a club option on his contract.
“Grazzini’s a good player, he’s a player I’d like to keep,” Klopas said. “He’s a starting player, and he helps the team. He’s on a club option, which he knows, we’ve talked to him about it. He knows that. Let’s make that clear.”
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Grazzini said on Thursday that he only recently realized that the club had that option, which would keep the 31-year-old around for the rest of the season.
The Argentine said that he has no issue with the club, and the miscommunication was between him and his Argentina-based agent.
“In my time here, they’ve always been forthcoming with me,” Grazzini said through a translator. “We keep talking, and the problem is, I came here on a one-year deal, and I misunderstood my contract in terms of what is said in terms of the extension. It’s a misunderstanding as to what I could do under these terms.”
Klopas’ contention is a bit different. In what he said would be his last comment on the matter, the Fire coach said the club has told Grazzini that they have a club option.
“He’s known it for a very long time,” Klopas said. “It’s not like we haven’t talked to him, it’s not like we haven’t been on top of it. So let’s clear that up, because a lot of things have been said. ... It’s the club’s option. We know it, he knows it, the player knows it.”
On Wednesday, Klopas said that the club would take Grazzini’s willingness to stay with the club into account. But on Thursday, he said that restructuring his contract would not be a consideration.
“If he wants to restructure a contract, we don’t do that,” Klopas said. “As a policy of the club, we don’t restructure contracts in June. The fact is that the club has an option, he knows about it, until the end of the year, so let’s make it clear.”
It’s still unclear exactly what Grazzini wants. When asked whether he would be satisfied if the club simply picked up his option, he did not answer directly.
“It’s difficult,” Grazzini said. “I just want to clarify that the club has treated me well. The conversations will continue.”