D.C. United have finalized the transfer of Homegrown midfielder Chris Durkin to Belgian side Sint-Truiden, the club announced Thursday. Durkin had been on loan with Sint-Truiden since last summer.
United did not release the transfer details though the Washington Post's Steven Goff reports the deal to be a $1.1 million fee plus a 25% sell-on fee. A source tells MLSsoccer.com that the fee is lower than the previously agreed purchase option as part of last summer's loan deal, but D.C. received a larger sell-on percentage in return for a lower fee.
Durkin, 20, made 36 MLS appearances with D.C. United after signing a Homegrown contract in 2016. He was a member of the United States' squad at last year's U-20 World Cup.
“We’ve created a transfer deal where we’re essentially partners with Sint-Truiden," Dave Kasper told MLSsoccer.com. "If Chris keeps developing as both clubs think he will, we’ll receive more revenue with the next sale.”
Durkin made 12 league appearances over his first season in Belgium, but his importance to the squad grew of late. All 12 appearances came over the club's last 13 games before the league was suspended and ultimately canceled. Sint-Truiden finished 12th in the 16 team league.
As per the terms of the initial loan, Sint-Truiden had a deadline of April 15 to pick up the transfer option or not. D.C. and Sint-Truiden had been in negotiations for a few weeks over the finalized deal.
“The process was very smooth, they’re a very professional club to work with," Kasper said. "They’re quite interested in Chris. They realize his mentality and they have a good track record of bringing players to the club then moving them on to better leagues. My sense is that’s what they’ll do with Chris.”
Durkin is the latest academy product to venture to Europe, following the likes of Andy Najar and Bill Hamid, the latter of which has since returned to the club.
United have a number of highly regarded prospects coming through the ranks, including Griffin Yow, Moses Nyeman and others who have recently inked first-team contracts. Durkin's transfer shows the club's youngster another real, tangible pathway forward.
“We want to participate in the global transfer market," Kasper said. "Chris is an example of a player who came through our academy system, played first team minutes and had the opportunity to go to Europe. We want that to be a pathway. Some players in our academy will end up having long careers with our club and others will have opportunities to go to Europe."