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Union pursuing Argentine winger Cristian Maidana – UPDATED

NOTE: This post has been updated to add additional details on Maidana’s contract situation, transfer fees and playing background.

Philadelphia Union may have missed out on Michael Bradley, but they are zeroing in on Argentine winger Cristian “Chaco” Maidana.

Maidana, 26, terminated his relationship with Argentinos Juniors by mutual agreement, an Argentine journalist reported earlier today. Maidana has not signed with the Union yet, but a source familiar with the situation told the Philly Soccer Page that the Union are pursuing Maidana and hope to have him signed to a contract shortly.

Maidana is a left-footed attacking midfielder who has played professionally in Argentina, Chile, Spain, Mexico and Russia, garnering a $3.5 million transfer fee for a move to Spartak Moscow in 2008. While he would likely play left winger for the Union, he spent much of the last two years deployed as a No. 10 attacker.

He spent three years on the books in Moscow, some of which was on loan with other clubs after suffering a knee injury. Maidana then returned to the Americas on a full contract in 2011 when he signed with CDS Rangers de Talca in Chile. He had a successful 2011-12 season with Rangers but was then loaned to Mexican side Atlante for the 2012-13 season and Argentinos Juniors for the 2013 Apertura season.

The Union would pay a transfer fee in the neighborhood of $400,000 to Rangers, who still hold Maidana’s rights, according to a second reliable source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Maidana would likely be a designated player and sign on a three-year contract. His salary may be below DP threshold of about $370,000, however, because of the inclusion of transfer fees. (The maximum salary budget hit for any player in 2013 was $368,750, but that is expected to rise in 2014.) Transfermarkt lists Maidana’s market value as 750,000 euros, or approximately $1.02 million.

Should Maidana sign with the Union, he would fill the need identified by Union manager John Hackworth for a left-footed midfielder. The Union played most of the 2013 season without a natural left-footed player at either left back or left midfield until signing Fabinho during mid-season and alternately deploying him in both roles.

Union management has been open about the team’s need to secure additional players in the coming weeks. The team’s only addition this off-season has been little-used midfielder Corben Bone, acquired in the MLS-Re-Entry Draft. The Union missed out on Argentine attacking midfielder Pablo Perez when Spanish side Malaga outbid them earlier this month.

Additionally, PSP has independently confirmed from reliable sources that the Union did in fact bid for U.S. international Michael Bradley, as previously reported by ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle. Apparently, teams were given the option to weigh in with a bid in a fashion similar to Clint Dempsey’s deal with Seattle. However, Toronto’s massive bid far surpassed offers by the Union and other teams interested in Bradley.

41 Comments

  1. He doesn’t sound like a bad player at all really.
    Though at this point I am so cynical I am already depressed over the fact Hackworth will most likely play him at LB.

    • I feel you are being to kind. He’ll take up Kleberson’s spot on the bench

    • it is good to be happy about this, it seems like the technical staff is addressing a problem. don’t assume that he will be benched or turned into a centerback or something. it doesn’t make you a sucker to think that the team is trying to build a winning roster

    • He’s not quick enough to play LB or LW in my opinion from watching his highlight. Much more a AM than anything else.

  2. james lockerbie says:

    Yeah, Rob I can’t help but agree with you. I MUST say I don’t know what makes me more upset the possibility the union will be mismanaged or all of the fans giving up on the union! It’s the fifth year! Think of the other four teams how long did it take them to get where they are now. Imagine if the fans threw in the towel on the eagles in the 60s or 80s

  3. Okay, now this IS encouraging. In the past 24 hours we’re hearing about a Colombian midfielder (replaces Cruz) and a professional left footed winger from Argentina. This is good. Very good. These two guys plus 2 stud draft picks for our back line will help. It’s something. Right? F’ing Toronto. Such a cool assemblage. Ballsy FO. Respect!

    • Please.excuse me while I climb out from under my rock. Who is the Columbian midfielder mentioned in the last 24 hours?

      • A young Colombian from Millonarios, Cristian Alarcón. Union supposedly seeking a loan deal. He’s actually billed as a forward on his wiki, but some believe he’ll end up playing RM (not sure where that assumption comes from, though).

      • And, at least from what I read earlier, acquiring him is part of the resolution for Carlos Valdes.

      • Ang and John…thank you.

        To reference another point within this discussion, I have to say I feel the same as James in his post from 7:16 pm yesterday. I was astounded at what seemed to be taking place, that being the FO was possibly not doing a thing and waiting until the 16th to fill the gaps. I’m extremely pleased and excited about this. However, how will the coaching and application of new talent be handled…

        Ultimately, I’m still looking forward to the beginning of the season.

      • Union Rumors says:

        But that resolution would involve Valdes going to Millonarios, which I don’t see happening. Carlos wants to play in the Copa Libertadores, with San Lorenzo.
        .
        Doubtful that Alarcon comes here.

  4. This would be a good start. He seems like the type of player that would fit Hackworth’s goal of a more possession oriented side, rather than a winger that bombs down the field ala Cruz. Signing him would be a step in the right direction.

  5. I think that before bradleygate, we would have been very happy about this signing.

  6. I wonder if this has anything to do with the rumors that Faninho is on his way out.

  7. This might be a little bit taboo to put on PSP, but where do people go to first hear these rumors and banter? (PSP – no offense, I know you have to have reliable sources and verification before you publish something. I’m just looking for the front line of the rumor mill)

    • One recommendation would be to follow UnionRumors on Twitter. Most of it ends up not coming true, of course. But that’s the nature of rumors.

    • On twitter I also follow @scottdkessler and @UnionRumors. Both do a pretty good job of finding Union related rumors and player movement. However, it should be said, PSP had the Madiana story first.

    • Totally fair game to ask, Duke.
      .
      First off, I will say this: This is no rumor. PSP wouldn’t write this as a stand-alone post if that was the case. Our general rule is that we don’t report rumors as straight news; we just link to them in our daily news roundup or maybe share them on Twitter, because we know our readers want to know it (and because Ed is a masochist when it comes to research). The Maidana signing is happening, unless something goes awry (which is always possible).
      .
      Things like Alarcon, that young Colombian MF, possibly joining the Union are just a rumor. While it’s possible the rumor is true, we have no insights from any reliable sources that it will actually happen.
      .
      The suggestion of the Union Rumors Twitter feed is probably a way to go if you want to track rumors.
      .
      As for where we first heard this first? Unfortunately, I can’t identify the sources. I wish I could, but if I had or did, I wouldn’t have been able to secure the info in the first place or in the future with similar situations. In straight news, anonymous sourcing is generally frowned upon, unless you’re in Washington, D.C., where they seem to accept it as par for the course. We’re finally coming to accept that it is par for the course when it comes to soccer media as well. If we had the time to put into PSP as a full-time job, we probably wouldn’t accept that but could probably still get the info, but with limited time, I guess you have to accept the rules of the game at some point.

      • I think you guys do a great job at PSP. I don’t want you to publish rumors. The rumors I was referring to were the ones in the comments. I understand and agree with your policies on sources and verification. But, sometimes I just want to hear the strange-fringe rumors that are swirling around out there.

      • I love everything you’re saying here, Dan. As long as you are careful not to allow agents or club reps try to manipulate ongoing negotiations, you’re doing your part!

  8. Is it really horrible that in skeptical of everything now?

  9. “While he would likely play left winger for the Union, he spent much of the last two years deployed as a No. 10 attacker.”
    .
    I found this interesting. Any particular reason we should expect him to be on the left side rather than CAM?
    .
    Combine this with the Alarcon rumors, add in Bone as a depth signing, mix in some draft picks and things aren’t looking as bad (though I’d give up all those for Michael Bradley).

    • Well, if Fabinho is gone and since Marfan is too, the Bone signing is looking less like “depth” and more like an everyweek lineup addition. So while maybe not “bad”, it sure ain’t good. The Alarcon one seems predicated on if Valdes would want to go, and the rumored preferences are elsewhere. The upside here would be a Spanish Paunovic.

    • Yeah, I think there is a reason. Keep an eye out for more on PSP this weekend. We might have something else. ;)
      .
      Not Alarcon though. I got nothing on that.

  10. Turd Furgason says:

    I really don’t know if this is a player we need, also the Colombian winger from millionaros is not what we need either, he’s barely a professional player.

    • I’d be curious to hear why you think so. I know precious little about Maidana – all of it from what’s been linked to this point. I haven’t watched anything on youtube – and frankly, even if I did I’m not sure I’d get much out of it. Most everybody else I see, though, is excited or – at worst – mildly optimistic about Maidana. So I’d love to hear from somebody with an opposing viewpoint.

      • He is a professional play, but he is certainly a journeyman. He played in the champions league Spartek side got injured and then bounced around from team to team none that great, none keeping him.
        This may keep with the trend.
        Best case scenario he is a reclaimation project.

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  12. To be honest, the shortsightedness of the ownership group from the start is biggest reason why this club is where it is. New York “Bean Counters” who care little if anything about the sport or its fan base from the on-set of this clubs inception. You take a look at successful clubs and their Front Offices are filled with passionate owners/investors who know the sport and who know what their supporters want. In 2015, NYFC and Orlando FC will be playing in their inaugural seasons. Both of these teams already are ready to spend and spend well on facilities and players….GOOD/Great PLAYERS that they can mold youth around. This is the goal from DAY 1, the Union are in Year 5 and we are speaking as if this is our inaugural season, because for all intents and purposes, IT REALLY IS! Five years of “Rebuilding/Re-Tooling” and still our team practices in a Field and and indoor “Gym” in Wayne……Where is the Vaule, and Where is the Progress?

    The Bradley & Dafoe Signing is proving players want to come to the MLS, and want to show how they can make an impact. So if this trend continues, more and more clubs that are willing to spend directly on infrastructure and players will be top prospects for top talent. In the Union’s current state do you honestly see them putting Money where their Mouthes are to Compete with the NY teams, Toronto, Montreal, Orlando and then Miami……The Future looks pretty bleak when you look at where this league is going, and how this club as faltered for 5 years. Until real investors/Owners coming into this club with hard cash to spend, the Union will be the Chivas USA of the East, and with how great & passionate the fans and all the SOB’s are for this club, it is a very very sad thing indeed.

    I know Readers will come at me about this post with “torches and pitch forks,” but sometimes the Truth Hurts!

    I still stand by the adage of “You need to Spend Money, to Make Money.” I do not care about the amount of money the Union have spent on “Youth Development” when the Senior squad doesn’t even have an honest/Professional facility to train in. Too many mis queues, and not enough real R&D was put into this club from the on-set. A Stadium in Chester near a site of a Toxic “landfill,” a Casino behind a Prison, located under a Bridge in the middle of neighborhood that looks like Dresden circa 1948…Or Build in Conshokocken which is also equally accessible and actually has SEPTA access that doesn’t threaten your life when you step off the playform, and that has Restaurants and Pubs that fans can visit as well…..Hmmmmm what choice sounds better to you? Spend more for all the “Fringe Benefits” or spend less and …….. well obviously who know what has happened.

    Am I bitter that other Expansion teams look to be in better shape at their on-set then the Union were 5 years ago…..YES, YES I am Bitter. In Fact, my favorite style of Ale is the Bitter, and my favorite green veggie is also Broccoli-Rabe…Get the jist, I am Bitter LOL

    Let the lynch mob come, and I will welcome your comments with open arms!

    Bitter, But Hanging Tough

    – Ian

  13. James lockerbie says:

    Somebody mentioned green bay before, you know the fans own
    the team! let’s get to work on that.

  14. Ian,

    Thank you for having the balls to write what everyone thinks but seems afraid to say: Chester is a dump and is a major reason that people aren’t showing up like they did before. Maybe not the primary reason, but definitely a contributing factor. I refuse to believe that Philadelphia fans need a winner on the field in order to show up. I know that many fans are disgruntled with losing so many favorites and lack of transfer activity, but it just doesn’t strike me as a fan base that will shun the team solely based on the bonehead moves of the front office. However, in addition to the front office mistakes, Chester has NO amenities at all, and this keeps a lot of families from making the effort to get to the game. The novelty of simply having a team and attending matches has worn off, and pubs/restaurants/transportation attract people who want that to be a part of their game day experience. Personally, I don’t mind standing around a half-empty parking lot drinking beer, but that’s me. Additionally, leaving a night game isn’t exactly safe, even with a heavier police presence. I didn’t know anything about Conshohocken as an alternative site five years ago, but that sounds like a much better spot.

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