U.S. Men's National Team

No Celtic for Kljestan

Sacha Kljestan 1 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                   Photo by ISIphotos.com

Sacha Kljestan will not be heading to Celtic, at least not yet, and a winter transfer move is looking unlikely.

Kljestan's potential January move to the Scottish champions has been scrapped after Celtic decided that it could not afford the asking price for the U.S. national team midfielder, a package worth up to $3.5 million along with a sell-on clause, sources with knowledge of the negotiations told SBI on Friday.

The looming European transfer deadline is also making a move elsewhere in Europe unlikely for Kljestan despite interest from a handful of other clubs.

Kljestan is coming off a hat-trick performance in the U.S. team's 3-2 win vs. Sweden last weekend and now appears to be more likely for a summer departure from Chivas USA. Celtic is still interested in potentially bringing Kljestan in the summer, but the price could be even higher, as well as the number of interested clubs.

Kljestan's opportunities in Europe could grow come the summer, especially if he continues to earn starts for the U.S. national team. If he stays on his current pace, Kljestan could qualify for a UK work permit by the summer. He heads into the 2009 season with two years left on his current contract.

What do you think of the news? Disappointed that he isn't going to Celtic. Surprised that he is probably going to return to Chivas for at least the start of the 2009 season? Anxious to see what he can do against Mexico?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Jonathan

    Mr. Hoopy

    tl;dr = too long ; did not read

    Your post should become a copypasta to be recycled when US Nats fail to move abroad. Just a little modification, and your post could be applied to many players/ clubs. Good job dude.


  • Judging Amy

    “The US national team, despite their meaningless place in the egregious FIFA rankings, remains a non entity in International football; they are a nothing nation, over rated by their myopic fanbase. They are no better than Australia, Japan, Nigeria, and Uraguay. They have achieved nothing and will continue to achieve nothing until the MLS realizes it’s place as a feeder league to truly professional leagues in Europe.”

    No need to bring the Nats into this Mr. Hoopy. But I love when other foreign national team fans (usually our Mexican rivals)use this argument (that the US hasn’t achieved anything soccerwise). I don’t think Nats fans expect to win the World Cup, but the team has already made huge strides quality-wise since 1990 and will continue to improve along with our league, the popularity of the sport, and our youth development infrastructure. This improvement has happened and will continue to happen at a much faster rate than most other countries. So while the US may be “just” a solid team now, in 20 years who knows? And I think you and our rival countries know that. And I think you’re very very afraid.


  • kofi_x5

    While I agree with Mr Hoopy that Chivas/MLS should have made the transfer happen, I sense quite a bit of defensiveness. The sort one would expect from a pussycat cornered by an inquisitive dog.
    I’m sure Sacha would’ve grown immensely from the experience.
    Judging Amy shares my sentiments exactly. MLS is a in its junior stages right now. Developing, making mistakes, growing, learning, and getting stronger.

    Donovan had 4 goals in his first 5 games at Bayern Munich. So you can take that stat and Hoop it Mr Hoopy.


  • BrianK

    Mr. Hoopy,…the Scotish Premier League? The Scotish Premier League? What are we talking about,…Celtic, Rangers and about 16 other crap teams. The funny thing is,…you are bashing MLS and yet you say nothing of the fact that Celtic were admittedly bargain hunting. In other words,…if they can’t get talent on the cheap, we will not pay a fair price for it. Get real. The Scotish Premier League!!! And if you want to drag national teams into the discussion,…Scotland!!!! Scotland!!!!!!! Are you joking?


  • Mr. Hoopy

    I am an American and I enjoy MLS, but I am realistic about it’s place in the world, unlike most of the commentators that post here.

    I also realize how much of an inept, amatuerish organization it is. Especially since the players are owned by the league and not the clubs. The salaries on offer are a disgrace. Expansion will be an especially vainglorious failure.

    Any player that garners interest from Europe should be sold, at a reasonable price, because allowing the best players to escape the confines of a very poor league, littered with horrible coaches and very limited players, can only benefit the US National team.

    Sorry, but MLS really needs to fold and a new league free from anyone who was involved in the leadership and/or financial backing of this sham of an organization. FFS, Maurice Johnstone remains heavily involved in MLS and he knows dick about soccer. Same with Bruce Arena, Lalas, and most anyone else involved. The only exception is Bob Bradley, who actually knows what he is doing.


  • Mr. Hoopy

    “Ya know…these Scots(perhaps wanna be scots) infiltrating this site have grossly overestimated their league. The mid table SPL teams are no better than mid table MLS teams, dispite their abhorrent eurosnobbery”

    I have to laugh at that comment.

    First of all because there is no way of knowing that mid table SPL clubs are no better than mid table MLS teams, since they never play each other. You must have been simply guessing, but guess what? Your hollow comment means f all, cos it can’t be proven.

    Anyway it is pointless to compare since their are too many different variables, such as geography, financial contraints, EU laws, lack of interest, that ensure we will never know who has the better mid table sides.

    Who really cares whose mid table sides are no better than someone elses mid table sides? What the hell does that prove, besides a juvenile thought process on your part?

    Sorry, but the only ones guilty of grossly overestimating their league are you and your EPL obsessed, MLS watching cohorts on this blog.

    I watch many leagues and the only one I’ve thought had poorer quality that MLS is the Australian version.

    Besides, I highly doubt that you watch much SPL action, so you don’t really know the strengths and weaknesses of our mid table clubs. Here’s a tip though: you won’t find out through looking at their squads on FIFA 2009 and wikipedia; you actually have to watch the matches, ie a lot of them.


  • Mr. Hoopy

    “Mr. Hoopy,…the Scotish Premier League? The Scotish Premier League? What are we talking about,…Celtic, Rangers and about 16 other crap teams. The funny thing is,…you are bashing MLS and yet you say nothing of the fact that Celtic were admittedly bargain hunting. In other words,…if they can’t get talent on the cheap, we will not pay a fair price for it. Get real. The Scotish Premier League!!! And if you want to drag national teams into the discussion,…Scotland!!!! Scotland!!!!!!! Are you joking?”

    So what if Celtic were bargain hunting? That is what clubs do when they attempt to buy players from MLS, because they aren’t as valuable as those from other leagues. £2 million is a fair price for Kljestan; the proposed sell on fee is totally unacceptable and that is what most likely ruined the deal.


  • Mr. Hoopy

    “Hoopy says Beasley has “Chocolate hamstrings” ???

    Haggis eating m’f’ka”

    Yes, his hamstrings are made of chocolate, ie they frequently break down, causing him to miss matches. Have you never heard of this expression? Michael Owen has chocolate hamstrings as well. I’ve never tried haggis, not many people actually eat it.


  • Jonathan

    – Poor leagues sell their players all the time. MLS is a poor league.

    – “Chocolate hamstings”?? Check the youtube link on my username. It immediately came to my mind. ;);)


  • Brooklyn Zoo

    Awww poor Mr. Hoppy.

    The MLS won’t bend over backwards to lower their price because, gasp, you play in a european league?!!

    The move will come for sasha eventually. The MLS needs to not let itself be lo-balled by old, european clubs. We’ve had capitalism a lot longer then we’ve had soccer in this country, chap.


  • BrianK

    Mr. Hoopy,

    I know it must be hard to come to terms with the notion that Scotland is no longer sporting the great players as it once did…Dalglish, Jordan, Souness, Nicol, etc. and is in pretty weak form these days,…but things may turn around.

    Anyway,…MLS is wise to the European clubs approach to transfers. This is how it goes:

    A Euro team expresses interest in a young MLS player who is of decent standard.

    Being enamored with Euro football,…the young lad is chomping at the bit to move abroad. The Euro team in question knows this and knows that the player will piss and moan if he doesn’t get to move (see Dempsey, Twellman, Joseph),…which leads to them low-ball MLS on the transfer fee. MLS has the play the bad guy with its own player and dig in its heals to get fair value. There you have it.

    I have watched soccer for many, many years all over the world, including Scotland (which is a lovely country, BTW) and it is plain as day that this is what is happening.

    Do you think Shalrie Joseph would have a huge impact on a Scotish team’s midfield? Of course he would,…but the Scots were not willing to pony up fair value. To bad, so sad. Their loss.

    Anyway,…SK is better off in MLS for another year.

    One more thing,…don’t the Scots have the reputation of having deep pockets and short arms?


  • Jamie Z.

    I agree, for one, the U.S. are in roughly the same league as Australia, Nigeria, Japan, Uruguay…and Scotland.


  • smokeminside

    I think he should go to Belgium, where the people are shorter, the pockets full but not so deep, and everyone’s hamstrings are made of amazingly tasty beer.


  • Mr. Hoopy


    Sorry, but the MLS and Celtic had agreed a £2 million transfer fee (plus add ons) before he made his trial. Now after he scored 3 goals against Sweden’s C squad, they wanted to include a sell on fee. We don’t do sell on fees. That scuppered the deal. £2 million is fair value for a player with potential, who has achieved nothing. He’s not going to become a better player through one more year in the MLS; that will only occur when he moves to Europe.

    Brooklyn zoo

    Celtic are not lo balling MLS, it is the reverse scenario. MLS is overpricing a player, by adding a ridiculous sell on fee. Actually, we did accept a sell on fee for a young player, Marc Crosas, but he came from the Barcelona academy, which is vastly superior to Seton Hall or Bradenton. In fact we only paid £1.4 million for him and he is a vastly superior player to Sacha Kljestan.

    The MLS is naive to over price Kljestan, because after a couple of years with Celtic, he could’ve earned a big money move to the EPL, Spain, or Italy. They’ve shot themselves in the foot because of their greed.

    Sascha will eventually leave MLS for NOTHING and I will laugh. I can’t wait to see what they’ll want to over charge Bayern for Landon Donovan. Beckanbauer and Hoeness will laugh in their face and send him straight back to mediocrity in LA.

    BTW, I don’t care at all about international football; it is obsolete and should no longer be contested. I am an American who only follows Celtic, they are all I care about.


  • Mr. Hoopy

    Fulham bought Clint Dempsey for £2 million (2nd highest fee paid for an MLS player)and yet £2 million isn’t enough for Sacha Kljestan. Sorry, but the MLS screwed this one up, cos Sacha really wanted to move to Celtic.


  • Mr. Hoopy


    “Donovan had 4 goals in his first 5 games at Bayern Munich. So you can take that stat and Hoop it Mr Hoopy.”

    So what? There are 34 matches per team in the Bundesliga per season. Scoring 4 goals in 5 matches means very little.


  • Curtinho

    See. Mid table SPL teams are no better than those in the MLS? Then why, pray tell, do players that are released because they are total crap in the SPL end up starting for teams in MLS? Players like Tam McManus and Collin Samuel were punted from Falkirk and Dundee United and ended up with MLS clubs. Paul Dalglish was on a championship winner. Hell, you even signed Kenny Deuchar and tried to play him up like it was a quality addition! LOL

    It’s not Eurosnobbery. It’s fact. MLS clubs are currently after Hibernian reject Brian Kerr, that’s your level. Get over yourselves. :D


  • Tom P

    Better off playing in MlS then sitting on the bench in Europe! “mike canada”

    All that needs to be said on the matter right there.


  • madmax

    I’m glad it didn’t go through. I believe Celtic was a bad choice. Sacha could have ended up like Jozy, Freddy, Damarcus, Maurice, and the others sitting in the stands in civvies. Even if they are sitting at Old Trafford behind SAF it wouldn’t be good. Future USA international prospects take note. playing time counts, tell your agents.


  • steve

    His dad is from the former yugoslavia and is now considered serbian.serbia is not part of the EU so no he doesn’t have a european passport nor can he get one. if he did, both he and his brother would already be playing in europe. on celtic…. it’s a shame, if a scrawny japanese guy can make it there, sascha could have been just fine. very similar players/bodies/styles. he’ll still land on his feet though with chivas or whoever else.


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