After weeks of speculation, the Philadelphia Union officially announced today what media outlets reported a few days ago: the Union have acquired Stoke City midfielder Maurice Edu.
But it is not quite a straight transfer as initially reported. Edu will be coming to the club on loan from Stoke for one year with an option to buy out following the season. From the club press release:
Philadelphia Union have acquired U.S. Men's National Team midfielder Maurice Edu from Stoke City FC on a one-year loan with an option to purchase, the club announced today. A member of the U.S. 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, Edu joins Philadelphia after being acquired with the Union's number one overall allocation ranking and will be added to the roster as a Designated Player under MLS policy. Per MLS and club policy, specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.
No exact financial details have been released, but assuming this report from Jeff Carlisle is true the Union are not going to be paying Edu $1.2M or more as initially feared, but rather "mid-six figures" which is significantly more reasonable though depending where in the "mid-six figures" spectrum it falls is still a little high for a player of his caliber and recent history. But with no official confirmation from the club on the matter it is all speculative at this point. A loan is a fine idea though for Edu, who aside from 11 appearances last spring at Bursaspor, has failed to even crack the bench at the Britannia and will be looking to prove himself in MLS while getting back on Jurgen Klinsmann's radar.
Edu's role in the Union midfield is of yet uncertain, however it is likely that he will be replacing the aging Brian Carroll as the team's primary defensive midfielder, though it is always possible Union manager John Hackworth finds ways to get both on the pitch at the same time.
Edu will make his first Union appearance in a press conference tomorrow at the YSC Academy and it will be live streamed on the Union's website. Boyz II Men may or may not be performing there.