FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Stoke City wanted to acquire New England Revolution star Juan Agudelo before the European transfer window slammed shut on Monday. The Premier League side even tabled a serious bid to move his confirmed January free transfer forward.
Those overtures did not persuade either MLS or the Revolution to part with the promising striker before the end of the campaign, though. Both parties rejected a seven-figure offer for Agudelo's immediate services at some point before the window closed, league sources told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday.
Agudelo's complex situation – Chivas USA, New York and New England all stood to earn a share of the 66 percent of the overall fee afforded to the selling team, per league regulations and previous trades within the league – complicated matters a bit, but the underlying principle behind his prolonged stay at Gillette Stadium involved more fundamental reasons.
New England general manager Michael Burns declined comment on the specifics of Stoke's pursuit of Agudelo or any bids made by the Premier League side this summer, but he noted that the Revs rejected any interest from Mark Hughes' side to bolster their own chances of making the postseason for the first time since 2009.
“Our objective is to make the playoffs this year,” Burns said. “We have a better chance to make [it with] Juan Agudelo than we do without him. That is the reason why we obtained him. We knew [a move to Europe] was a strong possibility when we obtained him in May. We knew that he was coming out of contract at the end of the year. We knew about his aspirations to try Europe. We understood that.”
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Agudelo – currently on the mend from a hamstring injury sustained in the 1-1 draw at Toronto FC on Friday – must wait until the end of the campaign to fulfill those objectives now. Burns said he believes the US international striker will continue to contribute to the Revolution's postseason push as he prepares to make his Premier League move.
“He's been great for us on and off the field since we've had him,” Burns said. “We look forward to having him for however many games we have left this year.”