It’s deadline day in (most) European leagues, and plenty of MLS clubs and American players are in the mix. Friendly reminder that transfer window deadline days apply only to the club signing the player. MLS clubs can still make additions through the close of the primary transfer window on April 23.
Here’s the latest I’m hearing.
Follow deadline day on The Athletic
Duncan McGuire waiting in limbo in England
While on a flight to England to complete his expected move to Blackburn Rovers, Orlando City was notified by the English club that the deal for Duncan McGuire was off. Now, McGuire remains in England and is in limbo as the deadline approaches.
What happens next is still very much up in the air. Sheffield Wednesday, which had multiple bids rejected by Orlando, is back to try to seal a last-minute deal for McGuire and continue to work on the deal. It’s unclear if Wednesday will match both the price and payment plan that Orlando had agreed to with Blackburn, or if Orlando would consider something different. Blackburn and Orlando had agreed to a fee close to $4 million with add-ons.
Aside from Wednesday, other Championship clubs including Plymouth Argyle are looking into a potential deal for McGuire as well, sources say. Sheffield Wednesday currently sits in the relegation zone, second to last in the Championship, five points from safety with 17 matches left.
One potential problem for other clubs trying to seal a deal is that Orlando wasn’t actively shopping McGuire around this winter, and in fact would love for the player to stay. However, McGuire wants a new contract after scoring 15 goals with three assists across 1,930 minutes across all competitions in his debut professional season.
The two sides haven’t been close in negotiations, which opened the door for bids from England.
If no move materializes for McGuire today and a contract isn’t closer to being agreed, this issue between player and club isn’t likely to go away quietly.
McGuire, 22, made his debut with the U.S. national team in January. He’s likely to be on the United States squad at the Olympics this summer.
McGuire-to-Blackburn canceled with player on plane
Paxten Aaronson to be loaned to Netherlands
U.S. national team attacking midfielder Paxten Aaronson is finalizing a move to join Dutch top-flight club Vitesse Arnheim on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, sources briefed on the deal tell The Athletic.
Aaronson underwent his medical on Thursday morning. The deal is a straight loan until the summer with no purchase option as Frankfurt still views Aaronson as a key part of the club’s long-term plans. Vitesse Arnheim is currently bottom of the Eredivisie table, three points below the relegation playoff spot and seven points below safety.
Aaronson, 20, has made 14 appearances across all competitions this year, totaling 374 minutes. The player and his camp pushed for a loan move and the club agreed, sources add.
Frankfurt’s squad got more crowded this month as well, with the club adding Donny van de Beek from Manchester United, Jean-Matteo Bahoya from Angers and Sasa Kalajdzic from Wolves.
Sky Germany first reported Aaronson’s loan deal being close.
Karol Swiderski to Hellas Verona
Hellas Verona are finalizing a deal to sign Poland international forward Karol Swiderski from Charlotte FC, sources briefed on the deal tell The Athletic.
The deal would be a loan with a purchase clause that would trigger if Verona avoids relegation from Serie A. Hellas Verona sits 16th in the Italian top flight, though are level on points with the relegation zone with 16 matches remaining in the league season.
It’s unclear if the move will free up Swiderski’s designated player spot for Charlotte FC. The complicated MLS rules mean that it depends on the structure of the loan — salary coverage, loan fee and the like — to determine whether or not Charlotte could open a DP spot. The club believes it can free up a DP spot with the loan, but it won’t be completely settled until the deal is done.
Swiderski, who just turned 27, joined Charlotte ahead of the club’s 2022 expansion season and has been the team’s best player over the last two years. He has 25 goals and 13 assists in 70 appearances.
Kamil Jozwiak to Granada
Spanish club Granada is finalizing a deal to sign Poland international Kamil Jozwiak from Charlotte FC, sources briefed on the deal tell The Athletic.
A permanent transfer is agreed and the only thing that could get in the way is the deal not being completed in time before the window closes and is expected to get done. This deal would open a DP spot for Charlotte.
Jozwiak has underwhelmed in his time in MLS, with just four goals and 12 assists in 55 appearances across all competitions after joining from Derby County. Granada is currently 19th in the Spanish top flight.
New Charlotte FC manager Dean Smith already said this preseason that Jozwiak had not joined the team as all parties sought a transfer and that the club wanted a “different profile” for his position.
When Jozwiak leaves, Charlotte can add highly-rated Serbian international Nikola Petkovic to the first team with an additional U-22 initiative slot. The 20-year-old signed for Charlotte’s second team for a $3 million fee last winter.
The club needed to move on from Jozwiak and Swiderski to create room for key additions as it rebuilds the roster under Smith. MLS’s transfer window is open until mid-April, leaving plenty of time for the club to bring in new signings.
LAFC finalize deal for David Martinez
LAFC has finalized a deal to sign highly-rated Venezuelan youth international winger David Martinez from Monagas SC, sources briefed on the deal tell The Athletic.
The deal got done late Wednesday night after LAFC had been working on it for weeks. The fee could be north of $3.5 million, sources say, making it the most expensive transfer from the Venezuelan league abroad.
Martinez, who turns 18 next week, is viewed as the brightest young talent in the Venezuelan league. He has six goals and five assists in 2,153 first-team minutes so far in his young career.
Ajax tried to sign Martinez in the summer and came close, but the deal fell through, a source confirms. Dutch media widely reported a deal was close this summer. He’s currently with the Venezuelan U-23 team at the South American Olympic qualifying tournament.
LAFC signed Colombia youth international Tomas Ángel this week and The Athletic previously reported the club is finalizing a deal to sign Eduard Atuesta.
Denis Bouanga to stay at LAFC, in talks for new deal
LAFC star winger and reigning MLS Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga is set to stay at the club, sources say.
LAFC has insisted all winter that Bouanga would not be leaving or, if he did, it would have to be a very expensive transfer. Bouanga has wanted a new contract this winter.
Sources say the parties are working on a new deal, though nothing is close at all.
The 29-year-old had 38 goals across all competitions in 2023, also winning the Golden Boot in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. LAFC made the final in both the CCC and MLS.
Noel Buck staying in New England
Highly-rated England youth international Noel Buck will remain with the New England Revolution until the summer at least, sources briefed on the situation told The Athletic.
Buck, 18, is subject to widespread interest in England and elsewhere, including Club Brugge, but no official bids ultimately arrived to the Revolution. Buck is viewed as one of the best young players in MLS. He’s a regular with an England U-19 side that includes players getting minutes in the Premier League and elsewhere.
(Photo: Alex Bierens de Haan/USSF/Getty Images)