The price of a NBDP - Non-Beckham Designated Player - could be increased by more than a factor of two, if RBNY - Red Bull New York - closes the deal on the player it is pursuing.
According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, MLS and English club Aston Villa have agreed on a transfer fee (undisclosed) for Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel, who will join the Red Bulls if he and the club can agree on compensation.
That may prove to be impossible if Red Bull is trying to get him to play for $2 million per season, as the source states. However, a three-year guaranteed deal for a striker dogged by injuries the past few seasons might tip the scales toward MLS.
Under provisions adopted by MLS last November, DP contracts can be one year, three years (Claudio Reyna, reportedly earning $1 million annually) or five years (David Beckham) in duration.
Angel, 30, has played in the EPL for Villa since 2001 and has scored 44 goals in 175 league games.
Argentine club River Plate, which sold him to Villa for 9.5 million pounds ($13.3 million at the time), has offered him a salary of $2.5 million pounds ($4.92 million) to return, according to news reports. He has scored only four EPL goals this season.
He would obviously appeal to the large Colombian population in New York and New Jersey, give the Red Bulls a powerful presence in the Spanish-language media, and fill a glaring void on a roster lacking goalscorers.
Angel may also be using MLS as a bargaining chip. Ten days ago he said he'd like to stay in England a few more years and claims a move to Arsenal broke down because the clubs could not agree on a transfer fee.
Since his contract expires at the end of June, any transfer fee paid would be minimal, unless of course he's angling for some sort of signing bonus as a condition of joining MLS.
NEW WAY IN SAN JOSE? The soldout Mexico vs. Ecuador match Wednesday at the McAfee (Oakland) Coliseum Wednesday is to be preceded by a luncheon at which MLS commissioner Don Garber and Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff will be the featured speakers.
Subject: Wolff's efforts to build a complex that will provide San Jose State University with much-needed facilities, including a stadium to house its football and soccer teams as well as the reborn San Jose Earthquakes, which left town for Houston in December 2005 and won the league title last year.
Wolff purchased an option from MLS that gives him exclusive rights to a league team in the area for three years, and in January presented San Jose State University with plans for an extensive complex of commercial and residential space, and athletic facilities, with a new stadium as the centerpiece.
Several weeks ago, Garber said if Wolff and San Jose State University can reach an agreement, an expansion San Jose team could play in Spartan Stadium in 2008 while a new facility is being built. A source says, however, that MLS and Wolff have been pushing to begin construction next month so the stadium component can be ready by next year.
At nearby Stanford University, its 83,000-capacity football stadium was knocked down and replaced by a smaller, modern version in eight months. Wrecking crews moved in just hours after Stanford lost its final game of the 2005 season to Notre Dame, and the Cardinal hosted Navy the following September, so it can be done.
Wolff envisioned a stadium with a capacity of about 24,000, the university preferred a capacity of 30,000 to meet NCAA Division I football requirements. The source said the principals met last week and regular meetings have taken place since Wolff made his formal presentation two months ago.
Garber and Wolff will be joined by MLS president Mark Abbott, Oakland A's president Michael Crowley, Earthquake Soccer executive vice president David Alioto, and Fox Sports general manager David Sternberg.
With that much clout assembled, this has to be a go.