While appearing to pursue a significant level of frugality, the Philadelphia Union recognize the necessity of infusing their current squad with some European talent. Sources tell the Brotherly Game that, along with the acquisition of veteran goalkeeper Oka Nikolov, formerly of Eintracht Frankfurt, the Union have renewed their interest in signing Mathieu Flamini.
Flamini's contract with AC Milan, of Italy's Serie A, recently ended and the short lived French international has already attracted plenty of potential suitors, including Inter Milan and Arsenal, where he originally made his name in soccer from 2004-2008.
The central midfielder was wanted by Philadelphia before the start of the 2013 Major League Soccer season, but Flamini saw out the remainder of his one-year extension with Milan. As part of his return to Milan for 2012-2013, Flamini took a "substantial paycut," knocking down his yearly salary well below his previous 6.5 million euro total.
Unlike the two previously mentioned players, Flamini does not have much to his name in recent years. After featuring as the main backup central midfielder for his first three years in Milan, Flamini has fallen out of favor and has only appeared four times since the beginning of the 2011-2012 season.
Flamini would provide a veteran presence to the midfield, but it would come at a high cost - one probably larger than Gabriel Gomez's current salary - and wouldn't necessarily produce on the field at a level that would improve the Union.
Philadelphia's midfield has been much maligned by media and fans alike in 2013, with Keon Daniel, Danny Cruz, Michael Farfan and others disappointing thus far.