The Red Bulls pursuit of Chicago defender Wilman Conde has reached a new level.
According to sources within Major League Soccer, the Red Bulls have included midfielder Dane Richards in a large offer to Chicago for Conde, an offer the Fire appears to have turned down.
This word comes just four days after Conde went public with a request to be traded to the Red Bulls in order to be reunited with his long-time coach, Juan Carlos Osorio.
News of Richards’ inclusion in a trade offer for Conde comes as surprise after Red Bulls officials had spent the off-season identifying Richards along with Juan Pablo Angel and Jozy Altidore as three players the club would not trade under any circumstances.
The runner-up for MLS rookie of the year honors in 2007, Richards had been seen as a perfect right midfield option for the Fire but there is a growing belief among league observers that Chicago has no intention of trading Conde.
If not Richards, then who? If Chicago won’t accept a package including Dane Richards then the Red Bulls and Fire are unlikely to be able to complete a Conde trade. One source within the league believes that Chicago ownership has essentially put up a ‘Not For Sale’ sign on Conde, particularly with regard to the Red Bulls.
Conde is in Florida training with the Fire and has yet to do anything more than issue his public trade request on Saturday. It remains unclear whether the Colombian defender is prepared to hold out in order to facilitate a trade, or a potential transfer out of MLS.
What do you think of this development? Fire fans, would you take a package of Dane Richards, Jeff Parke or Carlos Mendes, a first-round draft pick and cash for Conde? Red Bulls fans, would you give that up for Conde? Neutral observers, do you think Chicago is crazy or smart for turning down a package incuding Richards?
Share your thoughts below and PLEASE keep it civil (looking at you Red Bulls and Fire fans).