Landon Donovan — wait for it — apparently won’t be joining Real Salt Lake after all, according to a report from Sports Illustrated reporter Grant Wahl.
This is the second time the deal has died after coming out of nowhere late last month.
Wahl cites no sources, instead only saying that “SI.com has learned” of the news. We’ve sought confirmation from RSL Communications on the matter.
It remains to be seen if RSL will continue searching for a first-choice signing at right-sided attacking midfielder, but RSL general manager Craig Waibel and RSL coach Jeff Cassar have both indicated that the club has confidence in Jordan Allen in 2017.
We’ll see if anything happens here, but let’s just say that we’ve been surprised frequently by the Landon Donovan transfer saga — especially after it was presumed dead and came back to life this week.
Let’s just say that it’s doubtful that will happen again, but as always, be prepared for the silly season to continue taking hold.
We reported late last week that Donovan would be joining RSL, citing sources “close to the front office”; that was later shown to be inaccurate. Waibel said talks were ongoing on Friday while dismissing claims that a deal was complete. At that time, there was no indication that the deal had fallen apart.
There’s no indication why the deal has fallen through, but there have been consistent indications that Major League Soccer was holding up parts of the deal because of Collective Bargaining Agreement constraints placed on the movement of ‘free agents’ within the league, particularly in regard to maximum salary increases. Despite exit clauses allowing larger-than-maximum increases (15 percent increase over a previous year’s salary), if they chose not to utilize those rules, it’s an indication that they’re trying to keep free agency as limited as possible.