D.C. United know how valuable Lucho Acosta is, and are keen to secure their No. 10’s signature to a new contract before the summer transfer window opens, GM Dave Kasper told The Washington Post this week.
The subject of a dramatic transfer saga involving Paris Saint-Germain in the final days of the winter window, Acosta looked poised for a stunning multi-million-dollar move to the French titans only for the deal to fall apart in the final hours of deadline day. Now he’s entering the final months of his contract and could leave for free at the end of the current MLS campaign – an outcome United aim to avoid.
“Certainly our priority is to get him under contract,” said Kasper. “If we are not able to, we will address it at that time, but that is our goal. We want to win a title this year. We want to keep him here all year. There may be a temptation in the summer window to sell him, but we want to win.”
Acosta is currently the fourth-highest-paid player on D.C.’s roster, according to MLS Players Association documents released in September, with guaranteed annual compensation of $652,000. Should the creative Argentine be unable to reach terms on a new deal with United by summer, he’d be free to sign a pre-contract with other clubs abroad ahead of a winter move.
That might leave D.C. with little option but to transfer him in midseason, even though they’d prefer to keep him – and his dynamic attacking partnership with Wayne Rooney, dubbed “LuchoRoo” as they wreaked havoc in last year’s late charge to the MLS Cup Playoffs – for a run at the 2019 title.
“I think there will be a lot of demand for him,” Kasper said. “I think there will be clubs willing to pay a pretty good transfer fee with six months to go on his contract.”
Kasper rued the PSG deal fizzling, asserting that they could’ve reached an agreement if there’d been more time, but cited the mere possibility of such a transfer as a sign that MLS is dramatically growing in international visibility and reputation.
“Paris Saint-Germain, one of the top teams in the world, and I am sitting at their table, which was unthinkable 10 years ago,” he said. “That’s where our league is going. Those are the eyes on our players.”