Gyasi Zardes has had a nice run with the LA Galaxy, but his time in Southern California might well be coming to an end, as the 24-year-old is reportedly the subject of a $3-million bid from an English Championship side.
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According to a report from Sports Illustrated‘s Grant Wahl, an unnamed Championship club recently made the $3-million offer to Zardes’s hometown club (Hawthorne, Calif., native), at a time when the Galaxy find themselves at a crossroads over the makeup of their roster ahead of the 2016 Major League Soccer season.
Zardes, who scored 22 goals over the last two season (16 in 2014, but just 6 in 2015 after a permanent move to the wing), is likely due for a fairly significant raise this offseason (his $150,000 base salary is by far the lowest of LA’s impressive attacking cavalry) given his growing profile within MLS and now as a regular for the U.S. national team. With Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, Giovani dos Santos and Omar Gonzalez (paid down through targeted allocation money – TAM) already on the books as Designated Players, re-upping Zardes at a higher number might just be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back.
As for Zardes’s European prospects right now, he’s more than ready for a bigger challenge. Physically, all of the tools are there, and he’s impressed everyone with how quickly he picked up the speed of the international game after making his USMNT debut only in January. Of course, there’s always the possibility that MLS decides to create a brand new and/or alter an existing league rule to give the Galaxy greater flexibility in order to retain all of the above players ahead of the 2016 season.
Oh, would you look at that — that’s the other giant nugget from Wahl’s latest report: MLS is considering giving each team an additional dose of TAM in 2016 (originally the amount was $500,000 to be used over the course of five seasons). It should be said that the Galaxy are far from the only team to have used up part or all of their TAM in year one, but the timing on this one will surely have the “MLS is fixed in favor of the Galaxy” crowd shouting from the mountain tops.