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Orlando City and Barnsley agree to extend Dike loan through Championship playoffs


Daryl Dike is a big reason why Barnsley has clinched a promotion playoff spot, and now he will have a chance to try and help the club earn promotion to the English Premier League.

Orlando City announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement on an extension of Dike’s loan deal, which the Lions could have ended in a week if an agreement had not been reached.

Orlando City had the right to recall Dike from his loan to Barnsley as early as May 4, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel. The deal the MLS side struck with the English Championship team for Dike back in February was not set to expire until May 31, but the Lions had the option to end the loan before then.

Orlando City has tied its first two matches of the 2021 MLS season, managing just one goal so far. That scarcity of early-season goal production, coupled with a recent injury to offseason striker acquisition Alexandre Pato, had made ending Dike’s loan early a very real possibility given Orlando City had no real incentive to let it run through the end of May.

Orlando City did not disclose what the new agreement included, but given the financial stakes on the line if Barnsley was to secure promotion to the Premier League, it is probably a safe bet the new deal included a healthy loan fee.

Dike has been on a roll for Barnsley, scoring nine goals in 18 matches since joining the side. His contributions have helped the Reds move up into sixth place in the standings in England’s second division, with a chance to finish as high as third if results go their way during the final two match-days.

The American’s goal-scoring exploits have also reportedly caught the eyes of other clubs in England, with one report claiming Orlando City turned down a $10 million offer for him from a current Premier League team.

“We believe in his potential,” said Leitao. “We understand that players, especially in that age, have this desire to go to Europe and play for top tier leagues. I think Daryl has that opportunity, he proved himself to have the opportunity, and we will help him to accomplish his potential and his desire.”

Dike’s loan to Barnsley includes a purchase option, which is reportedly approximately $20 million, but that is a fee Barnsley is unlikely to pay unless the club secures promotion to the Premier League.

Barnsley is next set to visit Preston North End on Saturday while Orlando City takes on FC Cincinnati later that day.


  1. It’s debatable exactly how much leverage OCFC actually has. Yes, technically they COULD recall the loan on 5/4, BUT they would be effectively LOWERING the price for Dike’s transfer. Clearly, he’s worth more IF Barnsley can get promoted. It’s much harder to say he’s not worth more than $20 million IF they get promoted. OTOH, should OCFC recall him at the earliest possible time, Dike would probably be worth much less than $20 million. If he participates in the promotion playoffs and Barnsley is not promoted, his value would probably still be around $20 million for some EPL club. OTOH, should Barnsley be promoted and Dike scores a few more goals during the playoffs, his value will increase.

    • i think your analysis is astute if the fee is the high end Orlando/domestic papers reported. then they basically have to get promoted to justify the cost. OC is then going to make a hefty chunk of change if the deal happens and their interest is in success. yanking him back only risks blowing the whole dream scenario up. however if it’s a low 7 figure option as barnsley suggests, and he had them almost promoted as it was, they might still buy him even if they missed out and would just grind their teeth at OC for being so literal and legalistic.

      OC is already getting 8 figure outside bids so i think barnsley losing promotion would likely affect the destination and timing as opposed to it happening at all or price. he’s going someplace this summer. the fee/promotion question just decides if it’s barnsley.

  2. on further thought, if you have a brain in your head this is either a gratis extension — you got a loan fee, and decent chance they buy and you make some cash that way — or a nominal pro rata of the loan fee for a few weeks. only an idiot would stick it to barnsley before they decide if they buy. unless the idea is to sour the relationship and sell for a fee in excess of the option. but barnsley could just screw you and pay the option.

    anyhow, if OC wants to do more of these then they take their negotiated fee like a man. if they want to only ever sell the loan player who magically puts up 9 goals in half a season, while turning the screw, have at it……it’ll be a one time deal….business is business but you won’t always have the golden goose and teams will consider who they are talking with…..if OC tries to extract on the loan extension or renege on the option price and demand $20m, would you take the next player on loan?? OC isn’t the only team with players to sell…..

    • From the Orlando Sentinel article linked above there was no loan fee, Barnsley just paid wages but Orlando got nothing. It sounds like neither side was expecting a playoff push so they wrote the loan for the end of May but Orlando could bring him back next week so that Dike wouldn’t sit in Barnsley until the end of May when Barnsley was out. I think you and I agree though that Orlando is seeing that as their way to get something out of a loan that was quite valuable for Barnsley but has netted them no immediate cash. It does appear it is going to get them 10 million plus in transfer fees this Summer.

  3. Compare Dike’s transfer value to that of Ollie Watkins and Rhian Brewster, both from a year ago. Dike is in the same league and is scoring at a similar rate as both of them, but his sample size is much smaller than Watkins’ and slightly smaller than Brewster’s. Both Watkins and Brewster were sold to EPL teams for around $30 million. The Watkins transfer has worked out well for AV, while the Brewster transfer has been a failure for SHU and likely contributed to Wilder leaving. You can make a good argument that $20-$25 million is fair for Dike, but teams may be scared to pay that much for someone who’s only done it for 4 months.

    • i assume there is a written deal someplace ie a contract. the going rate is not the market. it’s the option amount. if you start trying to parse the agreement or renege on price or terms this will be the last deal you do in england for a long time. you’ll get sued and lose dike anyway.

      • The buy option is where it starts, but not necessarily where it ends. If Barnsley exercises the option and buys Dike, they’re free to turn around and sell him to the highest bidder immediately. This could happen if they don’t get promoted and if someone is willing to pay more than the option price for Dike. If Barnsley wins promotion, they’re in an interesting spot with Dike.
        They almost have to buy him from a PR perspective, but if the $20 million figure is correct that’s something like 10X more than they’ve ever spent on a player. They would be flush with cash from getting promoted, though. If Barnsley declines the buy option, anyone, including Barnsley, is free to negotiate a deal with OC.

    • i am sure they “want” what a potential 9+ goals in no time flat striker gets. i doubt that’s what they negotiated for. if they wanted to sell for market you do a loan without an option. but then we’re pretending bigger fish wouldn’t CYA and insist on an option price. i don’t want to bid up my own transfer fee in an auction with a non exclusive loan, if it goes well.

  4. 1) I thought the two teams just recently agreed to terms for Dike to stay there until the season has concluded.

    2) I don’t blame Orlando at all in this case. They hold all of the leverage, and honestly, they could really use Dike at the moment for their own season. Barnsley will have to make it worthwhile for Orlando to delay his return…

    • Every time an issue comes up with this loan the two sides say completely opposite things. Orlando 20 million buyout, Barnsley “no it’s a number we normally pay” which would put it under 3 million. Deal is done he’ll be with us through playoffs, Orlando he’ll be back next week unless they pay up.

      • maybe this is a lame effort by OC to leverage the option. “if you don’t exercise the option he’s a $20m player.” that is buzzy PR but for barnsley’s purposes, so what. he’s not a “market rate” player unless i decline the option or take too long to exercise. his value is what the option says it is. and unless they don’t option that is the market rate….for now….

  5. Orlando looks really bad here, you have a team that desperately needs the player so you threaten recall him just to eek out a few more bucks.

    • That’s business. Barnsley should have negotiated a different deal. The real problem with OC’s approach is they risk alienating Dike. He likely wants to stay through the end of the promotion playoffs. If OC really does call him back on 5/4, you can imagine how unhappy Dike will be.

      • It’s just negotiating. Can’t fault OCSC for protecting their position, particularly as it seems increasingly likely he’ll be sold to somebody. They have every right to be compensated for the additional time, particularly as it overlaps their own season. I’m guessing they get to an agreement.

      • y’all do understand that if you want to do more than one of these deals you either better have a stack of dikes to sell or come across like you’re reasonable businessmen. if you come across like punitive jerks there won’t be a second deal unless the player is a god. works the other way, too. rumor is my dynamo sold elis for $1m and manotas for similar. freaking travesty. elis was a consistent double digit goalscorer and manotas had 20 a year ago. they went for less than cameron did. so if they think you’re soft they will exploit you but if you’re greedy they will shop other stores. OC doesn’t have all the players. not many really…..maybe do business like you want a second and third and fourth loan deal…..i mean, have none of you done business with an unprincipled, extracting business, and did you just put up with it??

    • Orlando has all the leverage and Dike is still their player so I’m not sure where you’re coming from. This is just business as usual.

      • This is true, but they run a serious risk of alienating the player, who may make it clear that he has no desire to return to Orlando City. He could sit out altogether (I doubt it would come to this), but does Orlando City really want to risk depreciating their own asset by overplaying their hand?

    • I didn’t realize it was a free loan so I can see why they want something. It just never seems to workout for the player in MLS when a team plays hardball. Acosta and Long coming to mind.

      • JR. Def agree, and important to note that the sample size has of MLS players who have gone on offseason loans to Europe remains quite low, with almost none resulting in a transfer (or in this case, extension and potential transfer) So there isn’t much precedent here.
        My guess? Barnsley know they need to pay some guaranteed money to OCSC for the extension (beyond simply paying Dike’s wages for another few weeks). But they’d prefer probably rather find a way to convince OCSC to accept some of the risk/benefit of the playoffs with them. Meaning— Barnsley pays some fee for the privilege of having him for the playoffs (call it 50k, arbitrarily) but a much larger fee (call it $250-500k) if they advance. Additional value could be rolled into a potential purchase price, but in no event would OCSC walk away with less than 50k (plus saved wages). And of course, after the Morris injury, they might ask for insurance. Seems workable no?

    • Gomer from the rhetoric coming out of the Orlando front office they don’t sound like they’re being that reasonable.

      • i think one way of understanding this is rewind to when it got done. this was another one of those spring loans like morris or arriola. which feel like one offs due to the unusually late start date. it used to happen more with the longer offseason. when the season began in february and lasted til december it went away. from OC’s perspective they were sending a second year pro of promise for a short loan to a fairly midtable team. they apparently didn’t think he’d blow up massive so there was no loan fee. the purchase option suggests they allowed Barnsley the power position of setting the price in case he did do well, as opposed to wait and see. he goes off and barnsley makes it to the top 6. i think they were surprised and the market changed overnight. but they are locked in with barnsley on a number or numbers one presumes. so they are either quibbling about which number applies (like, is there one high number at one sell-on rate, and another at a different lower rate?), or issuing hollow boasts about the transfer bids for a player with a set option cost. the going rate only matters if barnsley declines or we’re misunderstanding the arrangement.

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