New details have emerged about the Union and their pursuit of USMNT and Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan. Goal.com is reporting the Union, Red Bulls, and LA Galaxy are all in the running to sign Kljestan.
In order to acquire Kljestan’s signature, he must go through the MLS Allocation Ranking, in which the Union currently sit at eight. The other two reportedly interested parties, New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy are 12th and 18th respectively. While that puts the Union ahead of those two teams, there are still seven spots between the Union and Kljestan.
The Goal.com article also reports how the Union may go about making this move happen. As of today, NYCFC sit at number one in the allocation ranking. However, NYCFC seem poised to signed Mix Diskerud to a contract, meaning they would drop to the bottom and Montreal Impact would be in the number one spot. But to have a chance at Kljestan, the Union would have to make a trade to move up and take Montreal’s spot in the allocation ranking. If you’re getting flashbacks of last off-season’s acquisition of Maurice Edu, you’re not crazy. The Union traded Jeff Parke to DC United for Ethan White and the number one allocation spot which turned into Edu.
So if the Union are willing to move up to get Kljestan, what would they have to pay him? Kljestan last played in MLS for Chivas USA in 2010 where he made $205,000 in base salary and $238,000 in guaranteed compensation. There isn’t a whole lot of information on Kljestan’s current salary with Anderlecht, but it appears to be in the $700,000-800,000 range. One would have to assume that he would be looking for similar money if he moves to MLS, but a pay cut may be possible, albeit unlikely.
So there’s a general idea of what the Union might have to spend to get Kljestan, but the real question is, should they pay it? Many fans seem to have their hearts set on the DP striker that has been mentioned this off-season, but it would be unwise to let a player of Kjlestan’s caliber pass by without giving him a good hard look. He has a vast amount of experience in the Champions League from his time with Anderlecht, which is something not easily found in MLS. Additionally, he would be an upgrade over the recently departed Amobi Okugo and could jump right into the defensive midfield position opposite Vincent Nogueira.
If the Union want Kjlestan, there is a lot of work to be done and they will need quite a few things to fall their way.