Stejskal: LA Galaxy attempting to restructure Giovani dos Santos' contract

Giovani dos Santos - LA Galaxy - Close up

The LA Galaxy are trying to restructure Giovani dos Santos’ contract so that he won’t count as a Designated Player in 2019, sources told on Thursday.

The Galaxy currently have four DPs on their roster in dos Santos, his brother Jonathan dos Santos, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini. They need to cut that number to three before the start of the season to be compliant with MLS rules.

To do that, LA are attempting to convince dos Santos to take a new deal that will allow the club to buy his salary down with Targeted Allocation Money. That would require dos Santos to take a pay cut from the $6 million he made in 2018 to a maximum of $1.5 million, the ceiling for players who are eligible to be bought down with TAM. To compensate for the lost wages, the sources said that LA would extend dos Santos’ contract, which is currently set to expire at the end of this year.

LA GM Dennis te Kloese told reporters on Wednesday that the Galaxy’s DP situation could be resolved in the next couple of weeks through the club buying down one of their salaries with TAM.

The sources did not know how long the potential extension would be if dos Santos and the Galaxy agree to restructure his deal. They also didn’t know if the 29-year-old Mexican international would receive a raise after the 2019 season under the potential new contract. Ibrahimovic is only under contract for this year, meaning LA will have at least one spot to work with next winter should they want to once again classify dos Santos as a DP.

Dos Santos is coming off two straight down seasons in LA, including a miserable, injury-plagued 2018 in which he recorded three goals and two assists in just 14 regular season appearances. Despite Giovani’s rough run with the Galaxy, it seems he wants to stay with the club. He reportedly turned down a transfer approach from abroad earlier this offseason, and Jonathan dos Santos told reporters last week that Gio will “without a doubt” remain with the club in 2019.

The Galaxy will open the 2019 season on March 2 against the Chicago Fire.