MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

FC Cincinnati's Jurgen Locadia subject of European interest but his future is complicated | Tom Bogert

Jurgen Locadia - FC Cincinnati - grimmace

FC Cincinnati's on-loan forward Jurgen Locadia is the subject of interest from Europe, though the situation is far from a straightforward one.

Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv are reportedly among the clubs hoping to sign Locadia and can confirm that multiple clubs have reached out over the availability of Locadia, as first reported by Pat Brennan of The Cincinnati Enquirer, though a source adds those inquiries have been directed to the player's parent club, Brighton. There is an open line of communication between Brighton and Cincinnati over the best resolution.

The situation is a tricky one because Locaida's future is not technically in Cincy's hands. Locadia is only on loan at Cincinnati from Brighton & Hove Albion until the end of June, with Cincy having a purchase option to make him a permanent member of the squad.

The predicament is reminiscent to the one that saw Locadia arrive at FCC in the first place.

Locadia was on loan at German club Hoffenheim, who allowed him out of the agreement early so he could sign in MLS. The Dutchman has been public in his desire to stay at Cincinnati, though his form in 2020 failed to live up to expectations. GM Gerard Nijkamp has said the club "have a decision to make" on Locadia in multiple interviews and press conferences this winter. 

While the winter transfer window in most European countries closed on Monday, Israel's window is open until February 11 should Maccabi Tel Aviv's reported interest turn into a palatable deal for all parties. Other notable leagues featuring clubs that could likely afford Locadia and whose window extends in February include Russia (Feb. 25), Ukraine (Mar. 2), Austria (Feb. 8) and Switzerland (Feb. 15).

A source adds no decision or deal for Locadia is imminent. If Locadia was to leave, it would open up a Designated Player spot and likely significant spending power for Cincinnati, given his original purchase option was reported to be $10 million. 

Locadia, 27, arrived at Cincy with plenty of talent and hype though his first season didn't go as planned. He had just two goals in 18 appearances (15 starts). His first goal came on his debut in March, with the player ending the year with one goal in his final 1,396 minutes.

Locadia was a one-time Dutch wonderkid and scored 72 goals and provided 42 assists across stops with PSV Eindhoven (2011-17), Brighton (2018-20) and TSG Hoffenheim (2019-20) prior to joining Cincinnati.