Mesut Ozil - Arsenal - tight shot
Reuters/Action Images

Six possible late European transfer targets for MLS clubs | Greg Seltzer

The MLS transfer window will be closing in two weeks, but there's still plenty of time left for clubs in need of reinforcements to do some late business.

Plenty of aces have landed from Europe near the market deadline over the years, so it's always worth browsing until security shoves you out the door. Several of those captures were players available cheaper because they were set to run out of contract, and we've got some potential targets that fit that description on our waning business hours watch list.
 
Not every enticing name that could be had on the transfer market made the cut. We're not here to be reckless shoppers, and various reasons compelled us to skip past some attractive options. For instance, past MLS target Javier Pastore probably already has one foot out the door at AS Roma, but he's also recovering from August hip surgery. Then there's Sami Khedira, who, as a 33-year-old holding midfielder, may not be one to provide enough value for his cost. Some situations do not have ideal set-ups at this time is what I'm saying.

Let us not drag our feet with honorable mentions, on with our six-strong market list.

Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd in action for the US in a 2019 friendly vs. Uruguay. | USA Today Sports Images

The US national team winger seemed to have a starting job out of the gate of Besiktas' season. Boyd bagged the icebreaker in their opening day win, and started the Black Eagles' first six games across all competitions. Then, the European transfer market shut down and the club were left with four foreign players more than the limit.

Surprise twist: Boyd was one of the four not registered for play until January. He has been linked with stray MLS interest here and there, and Inter Miami reportedly hold his discovery rights. He's been a shade off form lately, so there is a bit of a restoration vibe here.

Jeremain Lens

Boyd wasn't the only shifty wide attacker left out in the cold by Besiktas. Lens, who has 34 Netherlands caps on his ledger, could perhaps be had for a song despite having a contract that lasts until 2022.

The 32-year-old has never been outed as having MLS interest that I'm aware of, but his career path since blowing up at PSV Eindhoven shows a sense of adventure. The 32-year-old is no classic old school touchline winger. He prefers to use power and pace to angle into the area for shooting chances. And, like Boyd, would arrive in search of a production revival.

Mesut Ozil

Is it finally the right time for the Arsenal playmaker to hop the pond? Is it perhaps even the last right time to grab Ozil? He turned 32 on Thursday and the Gunners are (one would presume) surely willing to cut a deal. Whether they can expertly maneuver out of his contract is another matter.

Some will be put off by his age, but MLS history is rife with No. 10s who arrived north of 30 and killed it. Ozil can still wreck lines from deep and he can still author moves that end with the ball in the net from Zone 14. Most likely, the real question concerning the possibility of bringing the former Germany star over is whether his wage request will scare everyone away.

Marcos Rojo

The 30-year-old Argentina defender has become surplus to requirements at Manchester United with the arrival of Alex Telles from Porto. In part due to various injuries, Rojo gradually became a depth piece over the last few years of his Old Trafford stay. He spent part of last term on loan to hometown club Estudiantes.

Though he did lose the starting job, Rojo remained a reliably solid squad player who can post up either centrally or as a defense-minded left back. Like Moses and Ozil, he's in the last year of his contract and may come with a "salary shed" discount.

Sergio Romero

Sergio Romero has been a backup for the majority of his five years at Manchester United. | Reuters/Action Images

Speaking of Red Devils on the outs with a deal winding down, the 33-year-old net-minder has recently been mentioned in English tabloids as eyeing a move to MLS.

Form concerns are natural considering the fact that Romero was essentially the cup 'keeper during his five seasons in Manchester, but there's a reason he is Argentina's most-capped goalkeeper of all-time by a country mile. He has a career save percentage of 77% and is a monster against spot-kicks. 

Sokratis

Any club hoping to land a seasoned ball-playing center back may want to ring up the Emirates, as the 32-year-old is looking very much like extra baggage these days. Already into his final contract season, Sokratis was left out of the Gunners' Europa League squad.

Buyers will wonder if Sokratis is on the decline, but it was only a year ago that he was Arsenal's regular starter and Greece's skipper. At the right price, he could be of use to the right MLS club.


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