Report: Tranquillo Barnetta weighing Philadelphia return, Swiss homecoming

Tranquillo Barnetta - Philadelphia Union - September 3, 2016

Tranquillo Barnetta has asked the Union for time to consider a contract extension as he decides whether to return to Philadelphia or sign with his hometown team, St. Gallen in Switzerland, according to a Swiss report.

Barnetta, 31, joined the Union last summer after spending the bulk of his career in the German Bundesliga. The midfielder played in St. Gallen’s academy as a youth player and scored 15 goals in 60 appearances in two seasons with the club’s first-team before moving to Bayer Leverkusen in 2004.

The three-time World Cup veteran spoke glowingly of his time in Philadelphia to the St. Galler Tagblatt, but admitted that he always envisioned himself making a return to St. Gallen.

“Life here is great and exactly what I was looking for [in] the one-and-a-half years,” he said.

“It will not be [an easy decision], and I do not know what will happen. I am in top shape, and I was wanted to return to St. Gallen in top form. The question is whether now is the right time.”

Barnetta has five goals and four assists in 25 regular season appearances, 22 of which have been starts, for the Union this year. Philadelphia will play at the Portland Timbers on Saturday (6 pm ET; MLS LIVE).