MLS- Portland Timbers

MLS Ticker: Celtic fail to meet Nagbe price, Minnesota signs Calvo, and more

Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

Darlington Nagbe’s move to Celtic is reportedly off after the Scottish giants pulled out of negotiations, but there might be more to the story.

According to Goal.com, Nagbe was not enthused by the wages Celtic offered him. That, combined with the Portland Timbers wanting a higher fee, led to a breakdown in talks.

Celtic increased its offer for Nagbe before Christmas. The Timbers midfielder was apparently at the top of manager Brendan Rodgers’ wish list for the January transfer window.

The 26-year-old has played in nearly 200 regular-season matches for the club since he was drafted by the team in 2011. He also has 10 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team under his belt.

Melano out, Wallace in for the Timbers?

Nagbe may not be leaving, but the Timbers are reportedly preparing to bring in at least notable player this winter.

Goal.com is reporting that Portland will try to sign a designated player to play out wide as Lucas Melano is inching closer to a departure.

However, there could also be a former player returning to Providence Park. Rodney Wallace, who is currently contracted by Brazilian club Sport Recife, is reportedly open to a return to the Timbers.

Minnesota United announces signing of defender Francisco Calvo

Nearly a week after Saprissa announced Francisco Calvo’s departure, Minnesota United has finally unveiled its newest signing.

Minnesota announced on Tuesday the signing of the Costa Rican defender Francisco Calvo on a permanent transfer.

The 24-year-old can play across the backline, but has primarily been deployed as a leftback or centerback.

Calvo has earned 17 caps since he made his debut with Costa Rica in 2011.

CEO to take over day-to-day operations of Orlando City

Orlando City CEO Alex Leitao will have more responsibility in 2017 and beyond.

Club founder Phil Rawlins announced that he will no longer handle day-to-day operations for Orlando City and that Leitao will take over.

Leitao has been a member of Orlando’s board since 2012. He was promoted to CEO prior to the 2016 season.

Additionally, Rawlins was given the role of “club life president,” and will serve as an ambassador.

  • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

    What?!?!? The Whiners told me it was MLS. Don Garber personally standing in the way.

    In all seriousness, it should take a lot for him to move to Scotland. Not worth it, unless the money is right.


    • Old School

      The Whiners told me it was MLS. Don Garber personally standing in the way.

      I’m curious if you can validate this and specifically mention the individual(s) that made this claim? I personally didn’t see Garber even mentioned on the topic.


  • The Imperative Voice

    As with Bradley, I think they underrate our quality and over-emphasize our cheapness. They want players who are cheaper than a UK transfer, whose price is overblown.

    So periodically something like either Cameron or Nagbe happens, where either the league or the player values the player more than the UK team, who is trying to get talent on the cheap.

    I see this as a tension in the “transfer to Europe” notions peddled by many. Not only is the permit a problem for many — which probably protects them from a lot of American talent — but they want to keep our transfer fees and salaries down. If you badly want it, like Cameron, maybe the league eventually haggles a better fee and you go. But even if the league is satisfied, the player can balk at terms.

    I’m glad Nagbe drew a line. I doubt Celtic is much better than MLS, and if they want to be cheap, you don’t need our players. Maybe this will nudge the actual valuations of our players upward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Twomilerule

      Good points! Selling players for MLS franchises is a double jeopardy scenario. You can develop a player and sell him to Europe but still only get half of the transfer fee as a return on investment. The other half goes to the MLS. However, the MLS will strategically pay transfer fees for particular big market teams to acquire players
      So is the MLS a buyer or seller of players? I think the double jeopardy makes it a select buyer


    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

      Obviously jersey sales of Darlington are going to be way higher in Portland than at Celtic, but also, he is critical for Portland to win it all. He is extremely valuable to Portland, the Timbers have to have him, or do a very good job of replacing him. Celtic is 14 points up, with the most meaningless games of all time coming up for the second half of the season. Games that Celtic know they will win and it doesn’t matter if they lose a few.

      Who is Nagbe worth more too? Jerseys and other rev aside…..Just the game and the contract…..There is no comparison. All but worthless to Celtic, worth everything to Portland.


      • The Imperative Voice

        All well and good except my understanding is usually the teams/league work out the transfer fee before the player/team B work out personal terms. No sense wasting your time negotiating a player contract if the team won’t even sell them.

        So if they got to personal terms and this fell apart over salary that suggests Portland and Celtic had a transfer deal hashed out subject to agreement with the player on his new salary.


      • johnnyrazor

        TIV: Not necessarily, usually its going on at the same time or even the player side is done first. ESPNFC has a good description of how the process usually works. It could be that once Celtic started putting down actual numbers that Nagbe realized it wasn’t close to what he felt he needed to move his young family half way around the world.


    • johnnyrazor

      We will probably never hear any actual number so its hard to say who was undervaluing or over valuing. A guy who scored two goals across all competitions for a team that went from 1st to 13th puts himself in a position to be undervalued especially when he would be 27 when he started his first full season with that club. Nagbe’s inconsistency in MLS keeps his value down while his flashes of brilliance and strong seasons like 2015 keep people interested. I don’t think Scotland uses the same work permit rules otherwise Kitchen or Bedoya (at the time of his move to Rangers) wouldn’t have been allowed in.

      Certainly the bottom 10 of the SPL is nothing to write home about, but playing every season in the Champions League or Europa League is nothing to scoff at. I haven’t watched much of Celtic this season, but it seemed likely that Darlington would have had a shot at good playing time. Its too bad that a deal couldn’t be reached as Nagbe needs to find a spot where he can play in his more natural central position that is firmly in the hands of Valeri at Timbers.


  • Anthony

    I am surprised that the salaries are essentially the same. I remember that Maurice Adu used to make just over 1 million a year when he was at Rangers, but I suppose that (1) SPL has less revenue and (2) GBP/USD conversion is much weaker (1.65 down to 1.2) I suppose that he is looking at the post tax (which is what is important) and weaker currency conversion. Nagbe is on over $500,000/year; meaning he mush clear $300k after taxes (Fed & State) in Oregon. Not to mention his wife must give up her job. Given the alsmomt 50% tax rate and 1.2 conversion, he must be offered only about $500-600k/year. I think Adu was on about $750/year.


  • Philip McNiel

    I never did think that Nagbe should go to a physical British league–that’s the part of MLS that doesn’t suit his style already. IF he’s going to Europe, it should be to either Spain or Italy.


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