MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

5 big transfer decisions coming for MLS clubs this month

The Primary Transfer Window closed on Tuesday and the Secondary Transfer Window soon opens in five weeks, yet there's still plenty of big transfer-related news to keep an eye on in the interim.

What, you think #SillySeason ever stops?

Here are a handful of big decisions that could happen during June, namely on-loan decisions/negotiations both incoming and outgoing.

Barnsley officially declined to pick up Dike's purchase option, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be right back in Orlando.

"Further updates on the 20-year-old forward will be made as they become available," is how the club statement read. That does not inspire a ton of confidence that he will, indeed, definitely be returning.

Dike is currently on international duty while Orlando have a break in action at the beginning of June, next playing on June 19. A lot can happen in just under three weeks, particularly with European clubs focused solely on transfer dealings with the big five leagues all wrapped up.

Interest continues to swirl around the 20-year-old US international, with seemingly every mid-table and below Premier League club said to be monitoring the forward. Julia Poe of the Orlando Sun Sentinel reports that Orlando have slapped a $20 million price tag on their prized asset, which would make him among the most expensive outgoing transfer in MLS history if any club were to pay up.

The forward was hugely impressive with Barnsley, scoring nine goals in 19 league appearances (1,289 minutes), helping lift the team from mid-table to the promotion playoffs. It's likely that only the relatively high price of Dike's purchase option led to Barnsley not exercising it.

Expected starter in Dike's absence, Alexandre Pato, picked up an injury in his MLS debut in Week 1 and has yet to return, though should be back soon.

Another wrinkle to consider: Orlando's majority owner Flavio Augusto da Silva is in advanced negotiations to sell the MLS club, as well as the NWSL's the Orlando Pride and related soccer assets to the Wilf family. The deal is not completely signed and done, and is not expected to be for a little while longer. How will this impact the potential transfer of Dike?

A question that's been on FC Cincinnati's radar for almost a year and a half now, Locadia's loan from Brighton & Hove Albion expires at the end of the month.

Locadia arrived in Cincy ahead of the 2020 season under great fanfare. The one-time wonderkid didn't quite make the grade in the Premier League, but came to MLS with great talent and motivation. The original purchase option in his loan was set at $10 million, before the global pandemic turned everything on its head. Cincy negotiated a 12-month extension of his loan and a new, lower, purchase option.

The 27-year-old has not lived up to the billing, though. He has just two goals in 23 regular season MLS appearances and has started just twice so far in 2021 for FCC. His loan expires at the end of the month and is the team's highest paid player, per data released by the MLS Players Association.

LAFC may have a third DP spot open for use this summer, and despite Matt Doyle's best attempts, he could not tweet-it-into-existence that they'd sign Sergio Aguero as the Man City legend has already joined Barcelona.

Rodriguez, on loan in Spain at UD Almeria, may have played his last game in MLS.The Athletic reported the purchase option in his loan will be automatically triggered if the Spanish club gets promoted to La Liga. Almeria are in the promotion playoffs. Even if they don't get promoted, though, Rodriguez has been cryptic about his future.

ā€œI am not going to be in a place where I am not happy,ā€ he reportedly said in an interview with Uruguayan media.

The 21-year-old has shown flashes of his obvious talent, but not quite the consistency the club had hoped for over a year and a half with the club. He has two goals and seven assists in 26 appearances with LAFC, while he has no goals and one assist in Spain in 16 appearances (five starts).

Nashville SC's DP forward on loan from Benfica, Cadiz's current agreement is set to expire at the end of June.

Nashville have a purchase option they could exercise or perhaps negotiate an extension on the loan, a la what Cincy did with Brighton for Locadia. After all, Cadiz has made only five MLS starts (and two more in the postseason): Is that enough of a sample size to decide on a potentially club-record purchase clause?

Cadiz, 25, has four goals and one assist in 599 regular season minutes combined (14 appearances, five starts), including two goals and an assist so far this year. He has shown flashes of excellence, combining his physical gifts with technical quality. He's been equally adept as a lone center forward or in a pair when Gary Smith opts for a 4-4-2.

FC Dallas' kids

Dallas continue to churn out academy products who are subject of interest abroad and there are a handful to keep an eye on in the short-term.

First, defender Justin Che. He spent the first half of 2021 on loan at Bayern Munich II, the club's developmental team playing in the German third-tier, and wholly impressed. As reported by and others, Bayern want to sign the starlet permanently and discussions are underway. No deal has been struck yet, though there is optimism an agreement will be reached.

Dallas' first transfer with Bayern was to send Chris Richards there for an initial $1.25 million plus incentives that could reach $5 million, while FCD retained a sell-on percentage. Since, the club have transferred the likes of Reggie Cannon and Bryan Reynolds to Europe for much more lucrative deals. How much might Che cost if a deal gets done and how much of a sell-on percentage will Dallas retain?

Elsewhere, winger Dante Sealy is currently training with PSV. He turned 18 in April, thus making a move to Europe feasible as he would have been unable to be registered for competitions prior to his 18th birthday. Third Degree reports it could turn into a loan if Sealy impresses, similarly to how Che went to Bayern for a training stint and earned a loan move.

Midfielder Brandon Servania returned from a loan stint in Austria. Will he stay at the club or head back to Europe this summer? What about Tanner Tessmann, the club's rising midfield dynamo who is expected to garner interest before long?

Lastly, Dallas could receive another financial boost this summer, be it this month or later. Reggie Cannon is very likely to move on from Boavista, while Hoffenheim are reportedly intent on signing Richards permanently. Dallas have sizable sell-on clauses in both players and would receive a chunk of any potential transfer.