January transfer window deadline: Which MLS players could be on the move to Europe?

Mauro Manotas - Houston Dynamo - looks upfield

Much of our offseason fun comes from watching fresh talent arrive across the league, but it's also well worth remembering that there's a whole world out there sizing up the MLS talent reservoir.

Names familiar to the MLS viewer are drawing sizable interest, which means some will eventually bid farewell to try new adventures abroad. It's the circle of soccer life.

Who seems most likely to follow the way of Miguel Almiron, Alphonso Davies and others before the winter window slams shut in Europe and other major leagues around the globe at the end of January? Let's kick that question around and compile a watch list.

Reggie Cannon

As with some others included on this list, rumblings have gone quiet since some a rush of speculation last fall concerning the FC Dallas academy product. CBS Sports reported multiple offers for the right back coming out of Liga MX in November, right about the same time that The Athletic got word of interest from a pair of clubs in England's top two tiers. As far as we know, Cannon's mostly been raising his status in US men’s national team camp since then.

Russell Canouse

Discussions around the midfielder have softened since The Athletic reported that D.C. Unitedrejected a handsome six-month loan offer from Dynamo Dresden a few weeks ago. Recently, the 2. Bundesliga bottom feeders have turned attention elsewhere to instead borrow Godsway Donyoh of FC Nordsjaelland. While that turn of events would seem to dampen a winter move for Canouse, there have reputedly been other clubs in Germany – where he got his start with Hoffenheim – keeping tabs on him. 

Inbeom Hwang

The midfielder spurned interest from several German clubs to come to Vancouver last winter, but the allure of the Bundesliga may have its revenge. Late last week, Hwang told K League United in no uncertain terms that he's up for a move to Europe. The very next day, South Korean outlet SPOTV reported that RB Leipzig were haggling with the Whitecaps over a transfer fee, and that Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha Berlin were also hovering about. Like his price tag, the quality of Hwang's suitors has gone up considerably since last January.

Aaron Long

This past weekend, the Red Bulls reportedly knocked back an offer from return bidder West Ham United. According to Sky Sports, the Premier League side tried to snare the US defender on a six-month loan, with a $4.5 million summer purchase option tacked on. Back in November, the same English outlet reported that Southampton were offered a chance to sign Long, while also claiming his current contract contains a $6 million release clause. It may not be long before the Hammers further test RBNY's resolve.

Mauro Manotas

After seeing at least one bid for his services rejected by Houston on top of plenty of Liga MX speculation in 2019, December included French buzz vaguely linking Manotas with Ligue 1 sides Montpellier, Nantes and Saint-Etienne. Long rumored for a move away from MLS, the forward has opened preseason camp with the Dynamo.

Brian Rodriguez

The young LAFC winger has barely had time to make his name in the City of Angels, but that apparently hasn't stopped Serie A vultures from circling. After being reported as a target for Napoli a couple of weeks back, word started going around Bologna that Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo was mulling over a clever double-swoop idea. Bologna would buy Rodriguez and then loan him to the Impact for a bit more seasoning before eventually bringing him over to the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara. It may be a pie-in-the-sky notion, particularly given that Montreal is ninth on the Allocation Ranking List, but stay tuned anyway.

Diego Rossi

The LAFC winger has long been the subject of talk about a move abroad. Last summer, Sky Italia reported that Fiorentina made a couple of near eight-figure runs at Rossi that fell well short of his price tag. He’s now busy ringing the bell for Uruguay at the Conmebol Pre-Olympic Tournament, but the transfer talk has returned. La Viola are said to be looking Rossi's way again while they prepare for the expected departure of Kevin-Prince Boateng.