The Red Bulls’ quest to sign Macoumba Kandji this season has ended, with Major League Soccer pulling the plug on the potential $200,000 transfer bid for the 23-year-old Senegalese striker.
According to sources with knowledge of the transfer discussions, the New York Red Bulls have ceased their quest to sign the Atlanta Silverbacks striker after Major League Soccer officials balked at allowing an MLS team pay a $200,000 transfer fee for a USL player.
Atlanta’s insistence on a $200,000 transfer fee, an extremely high figure for a USL player but one Atlanta felt was fair value for such a young and talented forward, was the sticking point that MLS couldn’t get beyond. This despite the fact that the Red Bulls were willing to pay Atlanta’s asking price.
The Red Bulls secured the necessary funds to pay the asking price for Kandji when it traded goalkeeper Zach Thornton to Chivas USA for an allocation worth approximately $75,000, only to have MLS officials step in and determine that paying such a high price for a USL player would set a dangerous precedent for MLS. The issue was not the transfer fee itself, as MLS teams are allowed to pay transfer fees as long as the fees are paid using allocation funds.
The Red Bulls are still testing the MLS trade waters in their search for a speedy forward, but the wide-open playoff race has most teams reluctant to make any trades at this point in the year. The Red Bulls may wind up adding Gambian Sainey Touray, who has been on trial with the Red Bulls. The club is also looking at Crystal Palace Baltimore speedster Matthew Mbuta, a Cameroon-born winger/midfielder who looked very impressive in Crystal Palace’s U.S. Open Cup upset win against the Red Bulls on July 2nd.
It’s time for a poll. What do you think of the way MLS handled the Kandji transfer situation?
What’s my take? I think it’s a pretty sad statement that MLS would block the Red Bulls from making a $200,000 transfer purchase just a few months after the league profited greatly from selling Red Bulls star Jozy Altidore for a reported $10 million. Something needs to change in the way the league does things because it’s a bit absurd for a small office of a handful of officials to be responsible for what 14 professional teams do.
What do you think of MLS’ decision? Like it? Hate it? Think it’s time for the league’s single-entity structure to go away? Think MLS needs to loosen its restrictions on personnel moves?
Share your thoughts below.