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Sergio Santos trade to FC Cincinnati reportedly in the works

Santos is reportedly close to joining old friends in Cincinnati

Carl Gulbish

So maybe Sergio Santos isn’t coming back?

Santos, who last played on May 28 and has been out of the country finalizing a green card according to Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin might be headed to FC Cincinnati.

Pat Brennan from the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Thursday that the two teams were “moving toward finalizing a trade.”

Tom Bogert from added that the deal would get a hefty return for the Union for their third highest paid player with a contract expiring at the end of the year. Bogert reported that the Union would receive $300,000 in general allocation money up front with up to $700,000 on the back end tied to performance incentives.

Santos has had an up and down career with the Union with numerous injuries that have sidelined his progress. He has a goal and three assists (a Union career high) in 11 appearances and eight starts this season while logging 612 minutes.

With the emergence of Chris Donovan from Union II as depth and the play of Julian Carranza while on loan from Inter Miami, it makes sense from a salary and asset perspective — up to $1 million in allocation is a lot — that the Union would be willing to let Santos go. His contract runs out at the end of the year and he had the third highest salary on the team at $915,000 guaranteed, according to the most recent salary figures released by the MLSPA.

It’s a deal that probably makes more sense to the Union for this reason than for FC Cincinnati but a change of scenery with a familiar coach (Pat Noonan) and a couple of former teammates could be what Santos needs to realize the breakout potential he’s shown but never fully realized in his time in MLS.