Reigning MLS Defender of the Year and Best XI center back José Gonçalves made clear in an interview this week that he may not return to MLS in 2014, which certainly comes as news to the New England Revolution.
While currently spending his offseason in Switzerland, the 28-year Portuguese defender told caracaskid.blogspot.com that he needs to consider the well-being of his family while entertaining offers from various clubs in Europe.
The Revolution brought in Gonçalves via a one-year loan from Swiss club FC Sion last January, and then exercised the purchase option on his loan and exercised the 2014 option in his MLS contract in November.
Gonçalves was the only Revolution player to play every minute of the regular season and helped lift the club to its first postseason appearance since 2009.
“There is some interest and, of course, for any player in the world to play in Europe is very interesting,” Gonçalves said. “Is is the highest league and that’s why I am thinking to be back in Europe very soon.”
Gonçalves also stressed his desire to play for the Portuguese national team and to reunite with his family, which has been based in Switzerland since he joined FC St. Gallen in January 2011.
And, he says, the Revolution have made him feel expendable.
“After the MLS season ended last year, there have been a lot of discussions and meetings with the Revs,” he said. “A lot of promises have been made, but nothing came at the end and the club also gave me the feeling that I am easy to replace.”
Revolution general manager Michael Burns argued that sentiment on Friday, insisting that Gonçalves is expected to return this season. Gonçalves has already joined up with the Revs this January, going through pre-camp physicals with the rest of the team.
“We’re aware of the interview José conducted and want to stress that he’s a valuable member of the Revolution,” Burns said in a statement. “José is under contract with MLS and New England for multiple years, but having said that, we’ll continue to have dialogue with his representative regarding his contract.”