With the return of Carlos Valdes from loan uncertain, Philadelphia Union are continuing to pursue other options in central defense ahead of the opening of the transfer window on Tuesday, July 8.
A source with knowledge of the situation tells PSP that the Union have targeted Madjid Bougherra, the captain of the Algerian national team that advanced to the Round of 16 at the World Cup, where they fell to Germany.
Bougherra, 31, who has played for Sheffield Wednesday and Charlon Athletic, is perhaps best known for his three-year stint with Glasgow Rangers, where he played in 2008-2011 and was a teammate of the Union’s Maurice Edu.
Born in France, but choosing to play for Algeria, Bougherra is a free agent after leaving Qatar Stars League club Lekhwiya in May.
PSP understands that it is unlikely that the Union would be able to acquire both Bougherra and Valdes.
Interest in Bougherra from the Union is not new. In February, the website football365.fr reported (translation here) that Bougherra “was recently approached by the MLS franchise Philadelphia Union,” adding, “No action at this time.”
On July 3, ESPNFC Algeria correspondent Maher Mezahi tweeted of Bougherra, “Already rejected a move to MLS,” adding, “Qatar clubs monitoring.”
In addition to in terest from Qatar, recent reports from England suggest the Union would be competing against interest in Bougherra from Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Derby County. Reports in June also suggested interest in the defender from Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, and Burnley.
Bougherra has indicated that he would like to finish his career with Rangers but that this is something that might not be possible at present.
“I want to return to the English Premier League,” Bougherra told the Scotsman in a report that was published on Sunday. “It is unbelievable and I miss it. And I want to get ready for the African Cup so I want to go to the Premier League to find the level and spirit I need to do that.
“I have two or three years in front of me and I want to prove that I can play at a high level, and I want to prove again that I am good enough to do that,” Bougherra said.
The MLS transfer window, which opens on Tuesday, closes on August 6.