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Sources: MLS rejects Stoke City offer for Agudelo

JuanAgudeloNewEnglandRevolution3 (NewEnglandRevolution)


Juan Agudelo has hit an outstanding run of form that has the New England Revolution thinking playoffs, and has MLS wanting more money to let him leave the league early.

MLS has turned down a transfer offer of close to $750,000 to bring Agudelo to Stoke City during the summer transfer window, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday night.

Agudelo signed a pre-contract agreement with Stoke City earlier this month, but the English Premier League club has seen two offers to release Agudelo from his contract early rejected by Major League Soccer.

Agudelo is in the final year of his MLS contract with New England. According to MLS guidelines, the final say on transfer offers for players in the final year of their MLS contracts falls on the league, and MLS has decided not to accept either offer made by Stoke City to date.

While MLS may have final say, the Revs are clearly opposed to letting Agudelo leave this summer. New England has won four of six matches to climb into fifth place in the Eastern Conference, and Agudelo’s three goals in his past two matches since returning to action from a knee injury have helped the Revs win two matches in a row and climb into a playoff place.

What do you think of this development? Think MLS is right to turn down Stoke City’s offers? See the league relenting on letting Agudelo leave four months early for $1 million? Think New England can make the playoffs without Agudelo?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’m confused…If this is Juan Agudelo’s last year of his contract, what would stop him from going to Stoke at the end of the season on a free transfer? And why should Stoke even have to worry about a transfer fee?….Am I missing something?

    • Stoke was trying to bring over Agudelo sooner (now) instead of the end of season deal he signed. He’s still moving to Stoke City after the MLS season. MLS thought the $750,000 wasn’t enough for a sooner transfer.

    • Nothing, but they want him now. Stoke probably think he can do something for them immediately, instead of waiting until after the break. I’m still not sure how much I like the transfer. Agudelo has all the talent, but he needs significant development yet, and I’m not sure how that will work in the EPL.

    • I hope MLS is just holding out for more money because for all concerned this needs to happen.

      From Stokes perspective they risk losing value if JA gets injured and from MLS perspective they risk holding on to a player that has absolutely no incentive to perform. Also by not letting this happen the MLS is providing a disincentive for other young talent to sign with MLS as opposed to elsewhere.

  2. another reason MLS needs to back off and allow the teams greater autonomy. ridiculous that teams dont get transfer fees for their own players. MLS’s greed on certain players transfers has hurt a few of their careers

  3. Have an uneasy feeling about Agudelo to Stoke City. Great seeing Americans get recognition, and even though he’s a good talent, he’s still really raw. The Premier League isn’t a develop young players league. It’s a here and now league. I wonder if he’ll end up on loan somewhere if he doesn’t produce quickly.

  4. Not sure how Juan is worth more then 750K for four months. But maybe the Revs/MLS will cough up 5,038,000/year for a few years and keep him in the league. Seems to be a trend.

  5. Okay, guys, some of you are nibbling around the edges of why Agudelo needs to stay, but many of you are missing the whole cookie:

    1. New England doesn’t get most of the transfer fee. Many of you have correctly noted that, but it plays a significant role in the thought process here. MLS may have the “final say” over Agudelo’s contract, but they’re going to let New England influence that decision pretty significantly, considering…

    2. Agudelo is one of the chief reasons the Revs can use the word “playoffs” in a sentence without laughing. I may not remember the stat correctly, but when Agudelo is on the field, New England has outscored its opponents something like 18-2. When he’s not, the Revs are a .500 team. Letting Agudelo leave now effectively condemns the Revs to another October of irrelevance, and this fanbase desperately needs something to go right.

    3. If Agudelo leaves on a free transfer, New England retains his rights (presuming they make an offer). As someone noted above, this is absolutely worth more than the fraction of the $750K New England would get. On this team, Agudelo is a transformational player. Even if we don’t see him in the league again until he’s pushing 30, he’ll still have the talent to make the Revs a better team. Letting Stoke buy him now means MLS has no connection to him anymore.

    All together, MLS and the Revs have to keep him, even if they’re foregoing 3/4 of a million dollars. Stoke will have to wait.

    • Yep. It would be incredibly foolish for the Revs to sell. If MLS, New York and Chivas want this to happen they are going to have to offer something to the Revs to make it happen.

    • MLS can bribe NE to let him go by promising that MLS will buy him back in 10 years for $10M for NE. Those are the new rules, right?

  6. If it was up to Kraft he’d sell Agudelo in a second and use whatever money he gets to repaint the Patriots weight room. MLS realizes how pissed the NE Revs fan base is at prior player movements (both incoming and outgoing), blown smoke on stadium news and a general who cares attitude. If they can hold a young talent for a few more months and make soccer more exciting in NE I think it’s better for the team and the league.

  7. Agudelo is more valuable than that to NE, even if he only has four months left on his contract. NE may well make the playoffs this year, but it’ll be harder to succeed without him. What’s a playoff run worth to a team? More than $750k.

  8. 750K is way to small of an offer for MLS to consider… I was expecting the bid to be in the lower millions. As much as it sucks to see Juan Agudelo being held up, I agree with MLS rejecting Stokes offer.

    • $750,000 for a 4 month rental of a player Stoke has already signed to a pre-contract? That’s $750,000 more than they’re going to get in 2 months when his MLS season is over. Honestly not a good financial decision by MLS.

    • 750k is a lot more than MLS is going to get for him in 4 months when he goes on a free transfer.

      I’m not saying that MLS should have taken it, it’s not a miniscule amount given the amount of time left on his contract.

      • MLS doesn’t get all $750K and neither do the revs. Would Chivas agree to this, sure , would Redbull agree sure, but the Revs haven’t been in the playoffs and he is a vital cog in them getting their, you can’t count money you never had so why bother the Revs have the most to lose and they get the smallest amount of the 750K so yeah I’d hold out too. Unless Stoke can give the Revs the money they would have made if they made the playoffs.

  9. It sucks when business gets in the way of art, but it’s business that keeps are going, no it’s an unfortunate reality. I hope that Agudelo has the sense to simply focus on his craft and let the bean counters sort this out. He is one of the US’s top prospects and I am very glad to see him playing well again.

    As far as the business end goes, it’s nice to see MLS acting like they are negotiating from a position of strength, but I fear that it might have a chilling effect on future situations. I think it’s in the leagues best interest to demonstrate that MLS is a league that is ideal for finding new talent and is easy to work with to secure that talent. Sure it’s Stoke today, but that paves the way and builds the reputation for Man U and Real Madrid tomorrow.

    • I don’t think this is going to put any more of a lasting chill on future negotiations than MLS’s transfer games with Twellman or Najar or Pappa or a whole list of other MLS players who were still in contract. MLS players are still a bargain compared to players that can be found in, say, the Dutch 2nd Division *cough* Sherjill MacDonald *cough*.

  10. Just give an extra 75k to Chivas and Revs on salary cap. The kid won’t be happy and could ruined his performance in the field.

  11. NE will not release him because:
    1) Why would they want the money? They don’t sign anybody of value anyway. Prospects yes, proven players…no. Cheap cheap cheap is the order of the day
    2) He totally changes the team. With him they’re good, without him…terrible
    3) They control his MLS rights when Stoke doesn’t work out and he comes back. This is far more valuable than a piece of $750K

    • NE would have to split the money with Chivas and NYRB for some reason so they aren’t cheap in the respect. They are cheap in regards to the fact that they don’t just make him a DP.

      • Nobody said that, but there is no reason not to try. Did anyone think Dempsey was going to go to Seattle? Why wouldn’t the front office pretend like they have a shot at it in the same vein as when they pretend to investigate building a SSS.

      • He did ask for DP money, but the revs couldn’t match what Stoke offered him. I say couldn’t but I really mean wouldn’t.

      • The original transfer agreement included a percentage of any selling price. It’s a pretty common term to get a club to give up a promising player.

    • How is NE being cheap by not taking the money? They’ll loose him for nothing at the end if the season. Points 1 and 2 are in conflict. And point three assumes that NE thinks Agudelo will be a bust a will run back to MLS in a few years. He young and has value oversees even if Stoke doesn’t workout. Jozy’s European career didn’t end at Hull.

      • However, by losing Agudelo for free at the end of the year, the Revs will maintain his MLS rights if Agudelo ever returns to MLS. If you think that’s insignificant, just consider Dempsey’s recent return to MLS and how the Revs didn’t have Dempsey’s MLS rights because the Revs received compensation years ago when CD left the league.

        I’d rather have JA go for free now and hold onto his MLS rights.

      • The Dempsey case doesn’t really hold up because the League bypassed its own allocation rules so Deuce could end up in Seattle. Portland was ahead in the allocation order. If NE had Dempsey rights I doubt they would have received much in a trade. The Robbie Rogers right for Mike Magee is the exception to the rule.

        Also, NE lost Dempsey’s right when they used the money from the transfer. NE used the money to invest in their academy. So you can say the Dempsey sale helped produce current starters Diego Fagundez and Scott Caldwell. That’s not a bad haul IMO.

      • 1) MLS did not violate its own allocation order rules. Allocation order doesn’t apply to DPs.

        2) Yes, the Dempsey money did lead to investment in the youth academy, which then lead to current starters. However, the JA fee would be split with the league, as well as NYRB, and Chivas USA. The financial benefit is not the same.

  12. NE praying this doesn’t go through, they barely get any of the transfer if it does. I hope MLS doesn’t sell him, he’s leaving regardless in January, that offer isn’t big enough to tempt them I don’t think

    • They can only buy if MLS wants to sell. If they don’t want to sell, Juan plays out his contract and goes to Stoke after the season.

  13. I really hate how MLS controls the transfers instead of the individual clubs, along with trades and rights being owned by more than one club. What is that? I understand I am probably missing a key reason as to why this is so. I just hope it’s a good reason, because, along with the allocation order(whatever that is) and draft, it’s just ridiculous and overly complicated.

    • Rights can only be held by one team unless the playet is on loan thats standard. I dont get whats complicated on MLS getting the final say if NE wanted to sell him the league negotiates the fee. In this case NE doesnt so the leagues response is the bid is too low. Now lets be honest if Stoke really wanted him they’d spend, if not then they wait. Not complicated at all.

      • You should aim that hate at Stoke for not ponying up more cash to make it worthwhile.

        What makes you think NE wants to give up their top scorer for the remainder of the year and the playoff push? They’re in the business of selling tickets themselves.

    • Well, on second thought, New Engalnd want him, and that is pretty low for such a vital player for their team… I’m cool with it.

  14. Cash in what? 750k split between 3 teams w rbny getting the majority. Lol what kind of business deal is that. If stoke wants Wayne Rooney and Manchester united turned down their bid what do they do? They up the bid or wait for the contract to run out. This isnt personal its business.

    • Man U isn’t losing Rooney for free though. That’s a key part you conveniently left out.

      MLS here would lose another prospect for nothing. That’s questionable business.

      • how is this questionable business? a good run of form and winning fans and even potentially getting into the playoffs is prolly worth more than $750,000 in revenue.

        i know a lot of people don’t like the single-entity structure but the fact is guarantees a certain amount of parity, which is non existent in european soccer. i live in germany and every single season bayern munich is the team to beat. it gets boring.

      • Thank you.

        I like how people are taking potshots at MLS on this leave that one part out. The “what’s in it for me” factor for NE. Every team that pays a transfer fee is making it worth the other team’s while to lose a player. NE making the playoffs is most certainly a much bigger deal that whatever change they will get from the transfer of Agudelo.

        The thing is folks can’t wait to take a smack at the league or get so jittery at the mere prospect of an American going to the Prem in particular that they fail to so MLS’ or a given MLS team’s perspective in a given deal. A team like NE, which is cheap to begin with, has a very hard time replacing quality (because they refuse to pay for it…but if that’s their model; then, hey). Still that does not mean they should simply acquiesce to whatever offer that does not meet their requirements.

        Everyone does this and is within their rights to do so.

      • Besides let’s be honest. The American model for sports business is much more successful than Europe’s has ever been, which is pretend that numbers don’t matter and run your sports teams like a government agency. Much of what the MLS does from a business perspective has roots in the NFL model… Which sustainably grew, safely, into a cash hauling monster.

      • Please explain what nothing is? If its in the form of payment from Stoke then yes they miss out, but if its in the form of helping the Revs build a bigger fan base, selling tickets to a playoff game, advertising excitement of such a young team. Then they aren’t missing anything all of that is more than $750K and if you think about the exchange rate we’re talking close to $500K in pounds that’s so freaking cheap its insulting.

    • Seriously. If NE gets a couple of playoff games at home, sells some tickets and creates a little buzz for once, that is worth far more than their split of the 750k.

  15. Also don’t forget that NYRB would get somewhere around 50% of the transfer fee (after MLS gets their 25% for HG player) as part of the original trade with Chivas USA, would need to be higher fee for NE to say yes.

  16. This whole story is just nuts. MLS central command can essentially sink New England’s entire season if they think the price is right. And for his part, it sounds like Agudelo would rather go ride the pine in England than fight through the playoffs with one of the best young attacking teams in MLS.

  17. Stoke, did you even get a shot off versus Houston ? I believe the answer is no.

    You might want to give up an extra $250k from your EPL riches.

    • +1

      Furthermore, didn’t NE steal him from Chivas USA in the first place? He’s played a half dozen or so games with them? Doesn’t sound to me like they should be in the business of turning down money for nothing.

      • They traded something like 50K in allocation money. Whatever the league minimum is for trading allocation money that’s what they did.

        Stingy league. Wonder how Juan feels. Traded to three teams, shuffled around the country during important years in his development, then gets his transfer blocked in large part because one of his former teams gets 50% of the transfer fee. The team which did his career a huge favor by trading him to freaking Chivas.

      • 3 goals in his last 2 games since returning from injury; plenty of celebrating with his teammates; knowledge that he’s got his dream move already sealing and waiting in a few months …

        … he sure seems pretty happy. Right now, all he has to do is play and have fun. Zero pressure at all.

      • As long as he doesn’t pout, things will be okay. Yes, he’d be making more money if he were in Stoke now, versus January, but he did sign the original contract.

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