According to a report from ESPN's Marc Stein, the Philadelphia Union are very close to signing USMNT and FC Nantes midfielder Alejandro Bedoya.
You might remember that the Union nearly brought in Bedoya last season, when the team was still under the leadership of Nick Sakiewicz. Though a seven-digit transfer fee and salary were agreed, Nantes pulled out of the deal at the last moment. That the Union reportedly have Bedoya in their sights yet again indicates that Jim Curtin and/or Technical Director Chris Albright were the driving force behind that near-move.
The interest between the two parties may be mutual, but the Union would have to acquire Bedoya's MLS rights before they can acquire him. Since Bedoya is a regular with the USMNT, he is subject to the MLS Allocation Process. The Union currently sit second in the Allocation Ranking Order, meaning that they'll have to get a deal done with the Chicago Fire, who hold the top spot.
Bedoya has made 53 appearances for the USMNT, four of which came in the US's run to the quarterfinals in the 2014 World Cup. He's fared well in club play, too, as he's received significant minutes for Nantes since joining the Ligue 1 side ahead of the 2013-14 season.
Though Bedoya's pedigree and status with the national team certainly warrant a DP contract in the current MLS market, his potential role with the Union is less clear. Since he primarily plays as a winger for club and country, he'll further complicate the Union's attacking midfield situation. He has played at the No. 8 spot, which hasn't been properly filled since Vincent Nogueira's departure, but bringing in a million-dollar player to line up out of position would be foolish.
With the MLS transfer deadline closing on Wednesday, expect this story to develop quickly. In the meantime, let us know what you think of the prospect of Ale Bedoya in a Union kit.
UPDATE: ESPN's Jeff Carlisle is reporting that the Union would pay FC Nantes a transfer fee of $1,000,000 and give Bedoya a salary in the high hundred-thousands.
League source tells me that Bedoya transfer fee is $1M w/salary between $750k and $850k. https://t.co/jpjy4hfjsB— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) August 2, 2016
The fee from last year's failed move was similar, but Bedoya was reportedly set to earn $1.2m annually.