Report says the United States midfielder has agreed to terms, but only if he's allowed to join Fire, which MLS is unwilling to guarantee.
Just when it appeared as though Jermaine Jones' move to Major League Soccer was nearing a simple solution, now come reports that whatever happens is going to be anything but. One report suggests Jones has effectively agreed to sign with MLS and that the New England Revolution and the Chicago Fire are his two main suitors. Another report suggests that Jones has agreed to terms, but only if he's allowed to join the Chicago Fire. Finally, there's this tweet from Jones himself saying he hasn't signed at all:
The rumours that I signed with mls are not right!!!
The most plausible scenario seems to be the one put forth by Goal.com's Ives Galarcep. His sources suggest that Jones is agreeable to joining the Fire for one price and only willing to go to the Revolution for another, which at least seems to fit within the parameters of everything else that is out there.
Where the potential snag lies is with the way MLS allocates players. While most returning United States national team players come through the Allocation Order, the league has made exceptions for players like Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley although those players were even reportedly offered to several clubs.
Jones' situation is a bit different. His preference is to play in Southern California, but the league would have to do some pretty wild maneuvering in order to allow him to join either the LA Galaxy or Chivas USA, who both have the maximum number of Designated Players. The Fire and Revolution are apparently the only teams interested and able to pay his multi-million dollar salary.
Of those two teams, Jones apparently prefers the Fire. But MLS is apparently unwilling to let Jones dictate where he plays, a stance that seems firmly rooted in the league's desire to limit player control. How the league would even determine which of the two teams are allowed to add Jones to their roster, in any case, remains totally unclear.
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