FC Cincinnati's Jurgen Locadia eager to stay with club beyond loan spell

Jurgen Locadia - FC Cincinnati - Running

Jurgen Locadia's future with FC Cincinnati is up in the air at the moment, but if it's up to him, the forward says he'd like to remain with the club beyond the end of his loan deal.

Locadia is currently on loan with Cincinnati from Brighton & Hove Albion of the English Premier League on a deal that is currently set to expire on July 1, at which point the sides will need to come to an arrangement on an extension or have Cincinnati purchase him outright. The situation is complicated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has thrown the timelines for player moves for a loop throughout the world, but speaking to The Enquirer and Cincinnati.com, Locadia said he's hopeful an agreement can be reached that will keep him in MLS.

"I like it here so far in Cincinnati and the league also," Locadia said. "I talk with my agent also and he said at the end of the day it's my decision, and I told him I'm happy here, so if we can figure something out with Brighton and Cincinnati, which I understand is going to be difficult, we can try and fix the situation because ...Cincinnati's gotta say if they're gonna buy me or not and I think Brighton has some work in it also. But my agent called with Brighton already and they talked about the situation and hopefully they can work something out."

Locadia only got to play in one game for Cincinnati, but he already showed the type of impact he can make, finding the scoresheet in FC Cincinnati's 3-2 road defeat to the New York Red Bulls on March 1. 

He's the type of goal-scorer that the club was hoping would be a key factor in turning around their difficult expansion campaign of 2019 that saw them finish with the league's worst record. While he only just came to the league, Locadia said he's taken to his new surroundings so far, which is why he's hoping an arrangement can me made to keep him in Cincinnati whenever the season does resume.

"The stadiums are way bigger than in Europe and I think the fans' vibe is also different because, I think here in the States, the fans enjoy the game more and in Europe I get the feeling that people are more judgey about the game," he said. "Here in the States, they come to enjoy the game and see the players and drink beer. And in Europe it's more like, we need to win and they're gonna judge you. They don't like when you play the ball back to the goalkeeper."

Cincinnati general manager Gerard Nijkamp addressed the situation in a previous interview with The Enquirer and Cincinnati.com, saying that he's hoping to get the situation resolved as swiftly as possible.

"We don't only have Jurgen and FC Cincinnati, but the most important part, a stakeholder, is Brighton & Hove Albion," Nijkamp said. "And to discuss this specific situation and see what could be beneficial to all of us when we take this in mind. This [the pandemic] is not only happening in the United States, but also in England, this in the world, so this will also affect the summer transfer window for all of us.

"As professionals, I have to talk with them. I think they want to have a conversation also with me and I will do that in the next couple of days, to put it on the table and to try to find a solution about what's in the best interest of all of us."