Welcome to the Rumor Radar, a weekly column by Philly Football Daily MLS contributor, Noah Barnes. Each week, Barnes breaks down the top MLS transfer rumors of the week.
Another Matchweek has come and gone in Major League Soccer.
Several clubs embarked on their 2018 campaigns this past weekend, providing their fans with a first look at their team in live, competitive action. For others, it was simply back to business.
It’s back to business here, at the Rumor Radar, as well.
Admittedly, this week has been relatively quiet on the rumor front. However, several clubs have been eyeing late additions. In this week’s top transfer rumors, I’ll be taking a look at a mix of players going in and out of MLS clubs.
Lee Nguyen — Chicago Fire
Chicago made waves last year, in both the domestic and foreign transfer markets. Perhaps Chicago’s most notable signing came from Germany, with the Fire inking Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bavarian giants Bayern Munich.
Again, it appears that Chicago may be on the verge of another big name signing, as SB Nation reports the club are interested in New England’s want-away midfielder Lee Nguyen.
Of course, Nguyen does not carry the pedigree of someone like Schweinsteiger, but he has been consistently one of the best attacking midfielders for both the New England Revolution and MLS in the past few seasons.
Nguyen, a United States international, was arguably the best player for the Revs last season in what amounted to a dismal year for the club. He has been vocal about his desire to move away from Foxborough.
Nguyen would certainly provide the experience that Chicago are looking for and need, as the American has chipped in 53 goals and 33 assists over five seasons in New England. He would likely slot directly into the No. 10 role for the Fire, and might provide the spark needed to reignite the club’s offense early in this campaign.
However, while the Fire might have Nguyen shortlisted, locking him down to a deal won’t be easy.
Yes, the 31-year-old has been adamant about leaving, but the Revs have been equally adamant about keeping the player. Nguyen is under contract through this season, and he could end up staying in New England even longer, as the club has an option to pick up the player for the next two seasons.
Sebastian Giovinco — C.F. Monterrey (Mexico)
Toronto FC are the reigning MLS champions and, for the first time in club history, are playing this season in defense of a title. Already with a target on its back, TFC may need to fend off transfer bids for one of its star players.
Mexican outlet Multimedios is reporting Sebastian Giovinco is being courted by Liga MX side Monterrey, and that the club is weighing a decision to make an approach for the player later this week.
Toronto traveled to the city of Monterrey last week to face off against Mexican side Tigres in the CONCACAF Champions League, and it is believed club officials were in attendance to scout the Italian.
Giovinco has been the focal point of an explosive Toronto attack since moving to the Canadian club in 2015.
Signing the 31-year-old will not be easy for the Mexican side, however, as Giovinco is both an integral part of Toronto’s Starting XI as well as the club’s bank account — Giovinco is one of the highest players in the league, raking in around $7 million a year.
Despite Giovinco’s daunting salary, the Mexican giants remain confident they can lure the Italian south of the border. Though no official bid has been made, this is surely a transfer to keep an eye on.
Michael Amir Murillo — PSV (Netherlands)
In continuing the trend of high-profile exits, the New York Red Bulls could lose one of their up-and-coming defenders once the European transfer window opens this Summer.
According to SB Nation and Panamanian reporter Alvaro Martinez, Red Bulls’ defender Michael Amir Murillo could be leaving Harrison, NJ this Summer for the Netherlands and Dutch giants PSV.
On loan last season, Murillo quickly established himself as one of the first names on the Red Bulls’ team-sheet. Murillo appeared in 22 games in all competitions for the Red Bulls last season, making starts in both the MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League.
This year, the club made his loan deal permanent, as Red Bulls’ gaffer Jesse Marsch holds the defender in high regard.
PSV are hoping to lure the 22-year-old to Eindhoven, where the Dutch club is surely hoping the Panamanian can prove just as important for their side. Murillo normally plays on the right side of a back four, but can also operate as a right center back in a back three formation.
Yes, this transfer saga is still in the early stages, but it could gain more traction this Summer as Murillo is set to travel to Russia with the Panamanian national team for the World Cup in June.
Krisztian Nemeth — Sporting Kansas City
New England are continuing to rebuild their team this season, and the latest rumored departure is Hungarian striker Krisztian Nemeth, according to MLSSoccer.com.
Nemeth failed to make an impact with the Revs last season, scoring just once in six appearances after joining from Al-Gharafa SC of Qatar. Now, Nemeth is apparently surplus to New England’s requirements and the Revs are open to selling him.
A potential landing spot for the 29-year-old is former club Sporting Kansas City. In Kansas City, Nemeth would likely slot back into his preferred center forward role.
It should be noted that New England recently offloaded top goalscorer Kai Kamara to the Vancouver Whitecaps during the offseason, and the Revs currently lack depth up top.
Keep an eye out, throughout the week, for each of these rumored MLS transfers. Check back next Monday for the latest edition of the Rumor Radar. In the meantime, connect and follow Noah on Twitter. Cheers.