Mix Diskerud joins Manchester City on a free

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Sportswear giant Umbro was first to the draw, announcing that Mix Diskerud was joining Premier League leaders Manchester City on a 4-1/2 year deal.

There was some initial confusion, but more legitimate reports – including ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle – are confirming that the former NYCFC midfielder will indeed join Man City, but is not likely to remain there for long. NBC Sports can confirm this report.

Diskerud has indeed signed on with Pep Guardiola‘s side, but he will not train with the first team, and City will be looking to loan him out or sell him outright. The signing is savvy business by City, as he joins on a free transfer with his NYCFC contract terminated.

The signing seems to signal a clear strategy by Manchester City, given the similarities to the Aaron Mooy signing and subsequent sale last season. The Australian midfielder played for Manchester City affiliate Melbourne City, and signed for the Premier League side for free before being immediately loaned to then-Championship club Huddersfield Town. Mooy played well to help the Terriers earn promotion, and eventually netted Man City $10 million on a permanent transfer.

The 27-year-old lost his starting place in the NYCFC midfield last season under Patrick Viera, making just 16 MLS appearances, 9 of those starts, and all coming before June 4th. He then went on loan to Swedish side IFK Goteborg, where he has been since December.

Diskerud will likely now use Manchester City to return to full match fitness and find another club. The move signals an appreciation by City Football Group for what Diskerud gave to NYCFC on and off the pitch, and his positive personality despite losing his place in the team. The signing is likely nothing more than a goodwill gesture to help him earn a new club, but never say never!

Diskerud was voted the most overrated player in Major League Soccer in an anonymous player poll conducted by ESPN before the 2016 season. He has made 38 appearances for the US National Team, making his debut under Bob Bradley but given a regular spot by Jurgen Klinsmann. He has not appeared for the USMNT since March of 2016, not even called in since Klinsmann was fired.