TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Report
Dike is on loan at Barnsley through the end of the English Championship season, then is due to return to the Lions for 2021. But his form at Barnsley – he’s scored five times in 11 league matches – has reportedly drawn interest from Premier League sides, with Orlando previously receiving a transfer offer, per MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert. Poe reported that it was a $10 million offer and included a sell-on clause of around 20%.
As the 20-year-old has found success overseas, combined with his two US men’s national team appearances, questions have surfaced around whether Orlando await a significant payday as Dike possibly becomes the latest American youngster to secure a head-turning transfer.
Should Dike return to Orlando, he could form a dangerous partnership with striker Alexandre Pato, a former Brazil national team star who joined this winter on a free transfer after last competing for Sao Paulo FC. But head coach Oscar Pareja, during a media availability earlier this week, acknowledged that Dike could stay overseas when asked if that duo could strike up a relationship.
“You mention that Dike is in Europe right now, he may be back or not, and how do you equate those things?” Pareja said. “The presence of Pato, who brings you different qualities, different movements too, you have to readapt to those things. So we are thinking that our responsibility as a coach is how to put all these guys together in order to get the best out of each one and as a team be the team that we want.”
Asked about Dike’s future in Orlando, executive VP of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said they’re hopeful that he’ll return after the loan. Barnsley, now holding a promotion playoff spot and dreaming of a Premier League future, end their regular season May 8 at home against table-toppers Norwich City FC.
“It’s really fun to see him playing and see how much he’s progressed over the last year,” Muzzi said. “I see him tearing it apart in England, but we’re very excited about his playing. That was the plan, to have him getting minutes, getting experience and we’re hoping to see him back here when the loan is over.”
Before heading to Barnsley, Dike had eight goals and two assists in 17 matches for Orlando as a rookie. He was originally selected No. 5 in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Virginia, so he’s only recently passed one calendar year as a professional soccer player.