Lest we forget, after a longer-than-normal offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then the sweet, sweet return to play, the Primary Transfer Window is still open. Business continues to be done in the early weeks of the season.
The window remains open for another few weeks, closing on June 1. Don’t expect many fireworks and blockbusters, though. This year, unlike others, there is even less pressure to get deals over the line immediately before the deadline.
Sure, the earlier the better is a fairly unassailable guideline when it comes to new signings, but the Secondary Transfer Window will open merely five weeks after the Primary Window shuts (July 7). Delays at embassies mean paperwork to travel has taken longer and, to boot, most MLS teams have a three-week break in play at the beginning of June to accommodate international tournaments kicking off.
A lot of clubs have held flexibility for the summer, too, when theoretically there should be more deals to be had as most leagues around the world wrap up. That window is much shorter, open less than a month, from July 7-August 5. The summer should be a fun one in MLS.
It is still silly season, though, so it’s never totally quiet. Plus, the last couple of weeks were busier than expected with Toronto FC’s captures of Yeferson Soteldo and Kemar Lawrence as well as FC Cincinnati bringing Geoff Cameron over early.
There will be exceptions to the rule, so more on a few of those cases below, and there is bound to be another surprise, right?
NYCFC nearing $12m deal for Brazil youth int’l?
The biggest transfer story floating around is NYCFC reportedly closing in on signing Brazil youth international forward Talles Magno, as first reported by Territorio MLS' Pedro Breganholi and later confirmed by Brazilian publication Globo Esporte. Sounds like there’s a lot of smoke around this one.
Last week, NYCFC sporting director David Lee foreshadowed some movement in the near future.
Magno is a big talent. The 18-year-old broke into Vasco da Gama’s first team in 2019 and has been linked with numerous big clubs in Europe, thanks in no small part to his five goals in 10 appearances with Brazil’s U-17 national team. The reported fee would be $12 million, which would make him one of the most expensive incoming transfers in MLS history.
The winger can play across any position on the front line.
Another City Football Group club recently made headlines with the signing of a highly-rated Brazilian teenager, as Manchester City acquired 17-year-old winger Kayky from Fluminense. City also reportedly signed Metinho from Fluminense, but that deal is yet to be announced officially.
UPDATE (12:20 pm ET): Two hours after this was published, NYCFC announced the signing of Talles Magno. The reports were, indeed, true!
Daniel Gazdag’s Union arrival
Will Philadelphia’s new No. 10 make a brief cameo before being whisked away for the Euros?
Gazdag, a 25-year-old Hungary international, was officially acquired last week and the club are awaiting his paperwork to travel. That process was started before the deal was announced, as it had been in the works for a bit, and Philly remain hopeful they’re going to get a debut from their new man sooner rather than later.
Philly have just two games before MLS’s brief June break in play, though. This Sunday against D.C. United then next weekend (May 30) against the Portland Timbers. Gazdag would then join up with the Hungarian national team for the Euros.
“Our goal is to get him in as quickly as possible, to squeeze in and try to get him to play," head coach Jim Curtin said last week when asked if the new signing could debut prior to the Euros.
The earliest Gazdag could return from national team duty is following the group stage, if they are eliminated in that round. Their final group stage game is June 23. Philly’s break in play ends on June 20, when they kick off a stretch of three games in six days.
Reggie Cannon, Justin Che updates
Technically, this doesn’t have much of anything to do with MLS’s Primary Transfer Window deadline, but Dallas do have a sizable sell-on percentage in their former homegrown currently at Boavista, so that’s enough to count it. Think of this (and more below) as primers for the summer in general.
A source can confirm CBS Sports’ Roger Gonzalez report that there is interest in Cannon from plenty of clubs and it is quite likely he moves on from Boavista this summer. A source adds the likely destinations at the moment would be to England, Spain or Germany.
Cannon, 22, has 14 caps with the US national team and has featured in 30 of Boavista’s 33 matches this year as the club fight relegation.
Speaking of FCD academy defenders: Bayern’s reported interest in permanently signing on-loan defender Justin Che is real, per a source. That is no surprise. Che impressed the Bayern brass on a training stint this winter, enough to earn a six-month loan on deadline day before moving seamlessly from the U-19s to Bayern II, which play in Germany’s third tier.
Che, 17, has earned rave reviews during his time in Bavaria, making seven appearances for Bayern II. The US youth international, who also has a German passport, is a hugely rated talent. He could be the next Dallas academy standout to head to Bayern, following Chris Richards a few years ago.
The early silliest of silly season rumors
Oh yeah, they’ve already started and will only get hotter as we get towards the summer window when contracts in Europe expire.
When seeing “rumors” and “reports” from places that aren’t my trusted colleagues — you know the elite news-breakers — keep a healthy amount of skepticism. Particularly when the rumors suggest David Luiz and Willian are signing as a package deal to Inter Miami, who have all three of their DP spots filled and already got in hot water about having one too many Designated Players.
Continue to expect to hear Willian’s name linked with MLS for the 15th time as well as Luis Suarez once more. In case you haven’t heard (in the 100 articles that have mentioned it), he’s friends with Nico Lodeiro. Maybe the Mesut Ozil rumors will kick back up. Remember when Edison Cavani was supposed to come?
To be clear: I hope they all come! And, hell, they all might! But just use deductive reasoning on which ones to start getting excited about.