If you’ve been waiting for months to learn more about Brooks Lennon’s future with Real Salt Lake, you’re in luck: Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep is reporting that Lennon will be joining the club on a permanent deal from Liverpool.
The report, of course, is light on details — Lennon, 20, is contracted to Liverpool, and his deal was set to expire at the end of the year. He joined Salt Lake on a year-long loan in January.
The Galarcep report indicates that work permit issues may have played a role in his initial loan.
Lennon was solid with the Reds' youth teams, but issues relating to his ability to secure a work permit in the U.K. limited his opportunities at Liverpool, which precipitated a loan to RSL.
That’s not something we’ve seen before, so it’s an interesting note to pop in there. Whether it’s the whole of the story is, of course, another thing altogether. Despite impressing several times at the youth level, opportunities at top English club are inevitably limited, and Lennon found himself further back in the pack. It never seemed insurmountable, but it’s easy to speculate about that providing some incentive. Work permit issues would compound any concerns there.
The report doesn’t specify whether Lennon was released from his contract or if there was a deal struck between the two clubs. A free transfer would make the most sense, one might think — but with the latest infusion of targeted allocation money in MLS, it would be easy to see a club making a move with a transfer fee involved.
It’s also unclear whether Lennon would join as a homegrown player or if that mechanism has been exhausted by his playing at Liverpool, then on loan in Salt Lake.
UPDATE: Sam Stejskal, now focused on reporting MLS news but formerly an RSL press officer, says RSL signed Lennon on a free transfer.