New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen asked the club to trade him earlier this offseason, sources confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday.
The sources said that Nguyen, 31, asked for a trade before New England hired Brad Friedel as head coach and that his request for a move is motivated by a desire to continue his career elsewhere.
The sources said that New England are reluctant to move the playmaker and that it’s no sure thing that he’ll be traded or transferred by the Revolution, who open camp on January 22. The sources did say that Chicago are among the teams that have spoken to New England about a potential deal for Nguyen, who has a guaranteed contract in 2018 and two club option years in 2019 and 2020.
Nguyen, who was an MLS MVP finalist in 2014, joined the Revolution ahead of the 2012 season following two years in Vietnam, and has been one of the most productive attacking midfielders in MLS over the last four years. He finished 2017 with 11 goals and 15 assists in 31 regular season matches, giving him 42 goals and 40 assists in 128 regular season appearances since the start of 2014.
Reports have also emerged this winter that Vietnamese clubs are interested in signing Nguyen. One source close to Nguyen said that he has not received a formal offer from Vietnam and that it would take a significant contract offer – and a transfer deal with the Revolution – for the Texas native to consider returning to the country of his parents’ birth.
According to the MLS Players’ Union, Nguyen made $500,000 in 2017, the seventh-highest figure among Revolution players last year.
The Revolution’s first preseason match will come nine days into training camp, on January 31 in Bradenton, Florida against an opponent to be named.