FRISCO, Texas — Foreign interest in George John has perked up again. FC Dallas confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Thursday that the center back is out of the country pursuing a potential transfer opportunity.
The news comes on the heels of Wednesday night’s announcement by US Soccer that John withdrew from Jurgen Klinsmann’s US national team camp in Phoenix to deal with club-related matters.
Although no deal has been finalized, the trip may signal the end of John’s three years with FC Dallas. The defender nearly left the team last summer when Blackburn agreed to transfer terms with the club, but the Seattle-area native was unable to agree with the Premier League side on personal terms.
FC Dallas may have their insurance policy, however, in announcing on Tuesday the signing of 22-year-old Colombian defender Hernán Pertúz, who likely will assume a much larger role with the club if John departs. The 6-foot center back spent last season with Independiente Medellín in the Colombian first division.
“If we lose George before the season starts, or in the summer window, or at the end of next year, this puts us in a position where we don’t have to scramble to find someone to bring in,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com earlier this week.
“George is going into the final year of his contract, so whether he stays or not, coaches don’t want to be in the situation where they don’t have options. Hernán is a player that can come in and solve a lot of those problems.”
John, who had been summoned to his first national team camp when the call arrived, has started 71 of his 72 MLS regular-season games since joining FC Dallas as a first-round pick in the 2009 SuperDraft. Whether he departs or not, Hyndman believes Pertúz’s signing was necessary.
“[Pertúz] is a solid center back, captain of the U-20 Colombian national team and he’s got a really good pedigree,” Hyndman added. “I thought this year we didn’t have enough depth there, and in midseason we had to go out and try to find help. This move gives us depth in the case of losing players, injured players or suspended players.”