Sebastian Grazzini has shared that he plans to return to Argentina. The Chicago Fire midfielder has been in an uncomfortable situation with the team because his contract has not been extended. Oddly, the Chicago Fire still have not made an announcement about his future despite his comments about leaving the country on July 7. This may be another example of a delayed official statement from the team.
Rumors about the reasons behind Sebastian Grazzini's departure have continued to vary. His latest comments indicate he has "personal problems" that require him to return to Argentina. Previous rumors have mentioned family problems as a potential issue, but most of the evidence seems to lead to contract negotiation failure. Fire fans have seen family problems blamed for player departures in the past. Josip Mikulic gave a similar reason for leaving the team before the season started.
Sebastian Grazzini has pointed out that he has "no problem with the club," and this fits his previous declarations of loving Chicago. Unfortunately, he has not revealed if he plans to remain in Argentina permanently or how he will handle his next career move. The Chicago Fire have also maintained their silence on this issue. The lack of official press releases or any type of statement about Grazzini does not bode well.
Can the Chicago Fire Survive without Grazzini?
I still think losing Sebastian Grazzini in the middle of the 2012 MLS season is a mistake for the Chicago Fire. Although he has not played in the last several games or attended training sessions, the team cannot afford to lose a vital midfielder at this point. It seems that the Fire have been focusing on Alex as a replacement for Grazzini. However, this is a risky move for a club that has players who can be easily lost to injury and still have limited options.
The International Player Issue
Sebastian Grazzini is still listed on the Chicago Fire's official roster. In addition, he still counts for one of the eight international player slots allotted to each MLS team. The Major League Soccer transfer window has already opened, and Chicago has been linked to multiple international players. It is not clear why they have not removed Grazzini completely.
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Lana follows MLS, UEFA and FIFA. She has been a faithful fan of the Chicago Fire since 1998. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.