Hold onto your butts, because Major League Soccer’s summer transfer window closes Thursday, Aug. 6, and the next 24 hours are shaping up to be perhaps the craziest in league history.
[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup ]
There’s a report out there right now, from Univision journalist Gibran Araige, that says Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, currently of Premier League side Manchester United, has a contract offer from MLS worth $10 million per season. Araige also reports that Hernandez, who has just one year left on his deal at Man United and looks all but certain to leave the club this summer, has 24 hours to decide whether or not he will accept the offer.
Mañana cierre de registros en la MLS..Chicharito tiene casi 24 horas para decidir si va o no a la MLS. La oferta es de 10 MDD por temporada.
— Gibrán Araige (@GibranAraige) August 5, 2015
Univision reporter in Mexico City saying Javier Hernandez has an offer of $10 million per year on the table from MLS https://t.co/FCgYCaFC5c
— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) August 5, 2015
Kaka and Sebastian Giovinco are currently highest the highest-paid players in MLS at $7.1 million per year, which puts $10 million per season well into “this makes my head hurt” territory. On its own, that part of the rumor is crazy enough.
What we’ve not touched on yet, though, is for which of MLS’s 20 teams Hernandez will/might end up playing. That’s where things will most likely get really, really crazy.
As a non-US national team or MLS returning player, Hernandez is not subject to the league’s allocation order, meaning he would be a “discovery” signing while earning a Designated Player contract. Multiple teams — Orlando City SC and Chicago Fire have long been linked to the player — are rumored to be interested in Hernandez, even at that astronomical price, apparently.
Per MLS roster rules and regulations, this is how a player’s discovery rights are allocated when multiple teams are interested:
If one or more clubs try to add the same player to their Discovery Lists, the club that filed the claim first will have the priority right to sign the player. If one or more clubs submit a discovery request on the same day, then the club with the lowest points-per-game in the current MLS regular season (all clubs must have played a minimum of three regular season games) will have the priority right to sign the player.
If a club wants to sign a player on the Discovery List of another team, it may offer the team $50,000 in Allocation Money in exchange for the right to sign the player. The team with the player on its Discovery List will then either (i) have to accept the Allocation Money and give up the right to sign the player or (ii) make the player a genuine, objectively reasonable offer.
It is currently unknown which MLS team holds Hernandez’s discovery rights. It is unlikely that the team holding Hernandez’s discovery rights would not want to acquire him should he agree to come to MLS. The option for two sides to agree a deal to ship out and acquire his rights remains a possibility, as occurred when the Montreal Impact picked up Didier Drogba last week.
Buckle up, folks, transfer deadline day (MLS style) is going to be a wild one.
UPDATE: Guillermo Rivera reports that the Fire are not involved in negotiations with Hernandez:
Source confirms #cf97 are not involved in talks with Javier Hernandez. We now resume our regular scheduled programming.
— Guillermo Rivera (@FireConf) August 6, 2015