Another rumored Los Angeles Football Club transfer target, Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, is set to sign elsewhere, with reports on Sunday claiming he’ll sign with French club Nice, pending a physical on Monday, confirmed by the club.
Sneijder will possibly be playing Champions League soccer at Nice, pending the outcome of their playoff series against Italian side Napoli, under a respected coach in Lucian Favre, on a team that was sneaky good in Ligue 1 last year, only bested by the once-in-a-generation run of league champion Monaco and the moneybags of perennial favorite Paris Saint-Germain.
This turn of events for Sneijder, however, leaves LAFC’s quest for a Designated Player to launch the club with next year unfulfilled and ongoing. Sneijder was attractive in part because he was a free agent and would therefore not command a transfer fee, but there was concern outside the club if Sneijder, who was perhaps the best non-Spanish player at the 2010 World Cup, had enough left in the tank and would be a good enough draw for an expansion team in Los Angeles. As of now, that’s a moot point.
Sneijder signing with another club is the latest in a string of players connected to LAFC this summer to go elsewhere, joining Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (West Ham), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), and Keisuke Honda (Pachuca). Only Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose connection to LAFC was weakest of the lot all along, remains unsigned, although recent speculation is that he’ll remain in Europe and possibly re-sign for Manchester United once he’s recovered from a torn ACL.
Of course, as we continue saying, LAFC don’t need to sign any players right now, since they won’t be playing until March. They do have several months and another transfer window after this one before they need a stocked roster. Still, compared to the other recent high-profile expansion teams (meaning the teams other than Minnesota United) LAFC may not make a big summer signing before their debut campaign. We’ll see.
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