European-based Aaronsons double as Paxten lands with Eintracht Frankfurt

The 19-year-old will follow in his older brother’s footsteps by moving to Europe

There is a new Aaronson in Europe, as Paxten joined his older brother Brenden on Thursday by completing a transfer to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Aaronson, 19, joins the German side after spending two seasons with the Philadelphia Union. Just like Brenden, Paxten left the Union for a European team in a multi-million dollar move, with MLSsoccer.com reporting the deal is worth $4 million plus add-ons.

“Paxten has accomplished so much in a short amount of time. He has worked incredibly hard, and he has taken advantage of every opportunity with the first team, Union II and the U-20 National Team,” said Union sporting director Ernst Tanner.

“There has been interest in him for a long time, and we feel this is the right move for the club and the player, putting him in a good situation to continue developing in one the best leagues in the world. It is another great example of our development philosophy, and we are very proud of Paxten and wish him all the best at Frankfurt.”

Aaronson started only two games for the Union in 2022, as his path to more playing time was blocked by some of the club’s outstanding attackers like Dániel Gazdag, Mikael Uhre and Julián Carranza.

But Aaronson made a big impression over the summer with the U.S. at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, where he finished as both the tournament’s top scorer and best player.

Aaronson will join Eintracht in January, but it seems as though he is being eyed more for the 2022-23 campaign, with the club currently in fourth place in the Bundesliga and having reached the Champions League last 16.

“He’s a very young player, a highly talented and really gifted player who will give us a huge amount of variety in attack in the future,” said Timmo Hardung, head of first team football at Eintracht.

“We’ve got a very clear plan for how we want to gradually and carefully build him up. And part of that is he’s coming to us in January to start getting used to everything here so that ideally he’s ready to hit the ground running in the new season.”

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Sources: MLS rejected $5m Lokomotiv Moscow bid for Red Bulls star Cristian Casseres Jr.

MLS turned down a sizable offer for the Venezuela international this summer.

In the midst of a very strong fifth season in MLS, New York Red Bulls midfielder Cristian Cásseres Jr. was the center of a significant transfer offer from a European club.

Multiple sources tell Pro Soccer Wire that during the summer, Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow submitted an offer in excess of $5 million for Cásseres and included a sell-on fee.

But MLS rejected the offer for Cásseres, with the Red Bulls open to the move. The 22-year old has one year left on his contract after the end of the 2022 season.

Last season, Venezuelan international Cásseres made 27 appearances for the Red Bulls (24 starts) and finished with two goals and six assists.

It is unclear if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had any impact on MLS’s decision to turn down the move from the Russian club. Lokomotiv finished sixth in the Russian top flight last season.

A potential move for Cásseres could come after next season when his contract with MLS would be over. A source said that he is being tracked by clubs in the Bundesliga and Serie A.

The Red Bulls appear set for an active offseason, with Pro Soccer Wire reporting on Wednesday night that the club is on the verge of signing Jamaican international Cory Burke.

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Source: New York Red Bulls closing in on deal with ex-Union striker Cory Burke

The Red Bulls are nearing a deal for Burke, who spent five seasons with the Union

In need of an option up top, the New York Red Bulls are closing in on a move to add a seasoned MLS veteran with considerable international experience.

A source close to the situation tells Pro Soccer Wire that the Red Bulls are close to signing Jamaica international Cory Burke, who has spent the past five seasons with the Philadelphia Union.

The 30-year-old striker joined the Union in 2016 and spent his first two seasons with Bethlehem Steel, their USL affiliate. In 2018, he signed with the senior team.

During his time in Philadelphia, Burke made 93 appearances (38 starts), scoring 25 goals and adding eight assists.

Burke became a free agent earlier this month when the Union declined his contract option.

Last season represented what was arguably the best all-around MLS campaign of his career, as he netted seven goals and five assists. He appeared in 33 games, making eight starts.

Burke also made a major impact in the postseason, coming on as a sub in all three of the Union’s matches as the club eventually fell to LAFC in MLS Cup. He scored against NYCFC in the Eastern Conference final and drew a red card in extra time of MLS Cup after a scary collision with LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau.

Burke also has made 27 appearances for the Jamaican national team, scoring seven goals.

Since the departure of Bradley Wright-Phillips following the 2019 season, the Red Bulls have been searching for a consistent goalscorer. The hope was that Patryk Klimala, who signed with the club last season for a reported $4 million, would be the answer.

But Klimala has disappointed during his two years in MLS and was in and out of the lineup by last summer.

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FC Cincinnati coach Noonan says Vazquez is ‘going to be gone’ if he keeps scoring

The 24-year-old will likely have European suitors after a breakout 2022 campaign

FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan is realistic about the prospects of keeping Brandon Vazquez around.

Vazquez just completed a breakout 2022 campaign that saw him tally 18 goals and eight assists in 33 games. At 24, the forward looks to be the right age to make a big-money move to Europe.

Though Noonan would clearly like to keep Vazquez around for the long term, the coach knows there could be offers that are simply too good to turn down.

“I would say that if he continues on this path, he’s going to be gone,” Noonan told the media on Wednesday. “That’s my guess. Do we want to lose him? No. If he continues in the form that he is in, he can produce for us for a long time and that’s what we want.”

Though he excelled at a position that’s hardly an area of strength for the U.S. national team, Vazquez will not be a part of the team’s World Cup roster barring anything truly unforeseen.

That could potentially open the door for Mexico, a country Vazquez is also eligible to represent through his parents.

Vazquez could have a choice of clubs to make soon as well as national teams. Though it could be a blow to his team on the field, Noonan has said he’d be happy to see the striker move on if the right opportunity arises.

“For Brandon, the person [and] the player, if other opportunities come about and he’s able to go onto something bigger and better, I think that’s fantastic,” Noonan said. “I think it’s a sign of players being able to be a part of our staff and this club, being in position to develop to play at a higher level, wherever that is, whatever that means.

“So, again, we want Brandon here for a long time. But when you score goals, others are going to take notice of that and he is going to be sought after.”

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USMNT U-20 attacker Caden Clark set for another loan after RB Leipzig return

The U.S. Under-20 attacker will return to RB Leipzig, but likely won’t be staying long

Caden Clark’s loan spell with the New York Red Bulls has ended, but it doesn’t appear that he’ll be staying at parent club RB Leipzig when he returns to Germany.

Clark was originally acquired by Leipzig last June, then loaned back to the Red Bulls for the remainder of the 2021 MLS season. Ahead of the 2022 campaign the teenager was sent on another loan to Leipzig’s sister club in MLS, this time for the entirety of the season.

But Clark played just 475 minutes for the Red Bulls in 2022, tallying one goal and two assists spread across 16 appearances (three starts).

A league source tells Pro Soccer Wire that Clark will be returning to RB Leipzig in January, but he is set to head on another loan. Teams in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are eying a January move for the 19-year-old attacker.

Following the Red Bulls’ ho-hum loss at home in the playoffs last Saturday to FC Cincinnati, Clark posted a video to social media indicating he was leaving MLS again.

“It’s been a pleasure, thank you NY! Onto the next,” Clark said on Instagram.

Clark emerged as one of the top young talents in MLS after making his debut in 2020, earning a senior USMNT call-up last December.

In 47 league appearances (23 starts), Clark has seven goals and seven assists. But setbacks — including having his appendix removed last summer — have seemed to set Clark’s development back a bit.

Clark played a major role for the U.S. U-20 side this summer as it won the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, qualifying for the 2023 U-20 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics in the process.

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Kylian Mbappé is having some regrets about that PSG extension

Just five months after signing a new deal with PSG, the superstar forward wants out

Just five months after opting to stay at PSG, Kylian Mbappé wants to leave PSG.

That is according to, well, everyone. A flood of reports on Tuesday suggested the PSG superstar wants out at Parc des Princes, despite rejecting a move to Real Madrid in May in favor of a new three-year contract at PSG.

It’s been a trying season for Mbappé despite his usual goalscoring success. The 23-year-old has been frustrated with the role he’s played under coach Christophe Galtier, which he’s made clear with posts on social media.

There have been numerous reports that his relationship with Neymar has deteriorated, with the two stars feuding on the pitch early in the season over penalty-taking duties.

Mbappé also feels betrayed by PSG’s front office according to Marca, as sporting director Luis Campos, president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Galtier all promised a host of signings over the summer that never materialized.

This doesn’t look like a player having a fun time.

Where could Mbappé go?

The forward reportedly wants to leave PSG as soon as possible, which would be this January. But where could he go?

Unsurprisingly, as ESPN reports, his preferred destination is the place he nearly went this summer, Real Madrid.

But Marca has said PSG’s relationship with Madrid has gone cold, in part due to the Liga club’s persistent recruitment of Mbappé in recent years.

The publication suggests Liverpool as a possible option, but the Merseyside club may struggle to afford the France international having recently made Mohamed Salah the most expensive player in club history with a new three-year deal worth about £350,000 a week.

In any case, Mbappé seems highly unlikely to actually leave PSG in January. But there is now abundant evidence that the superstar’s relationship with the club is badly damaged, if not broken. Five months after the Mbappé transfer saga seemingly ended, it is very much back up and running.

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Simeone basically admits Atlético benching Griezmann to avoid activating €40m purchase fee

Things are going to get real awkward unless there’s a solution soon

Antoine Griezmann is in an unenviable situation at Atlético Madrid.

Griezmann is back with Atlético in the second season of a two-year loan from Barcelona, but that loan contains a clause that is making life extremely awkward for him and his manager Diego Simeone right now.

Should Griezmann play more than 45 minutes in more than half of Atlético’s games over the two-season loan, then the club would be obliged to purchase him from Barca for €40 million.

And it’s pretty clear that Atlético would rather not pay that fee.

Griezmann has been used off the bench in all three of his appearances this season, during which he’s scored two goals. That comes after he started 21 of his 26 league games for Atlético last season.

As speculation over the club intentionally benching him grows, Simeone essentially confirmed that was the case in a press conference on Friday.

When asked if he was being told by Atlético higher-ups to limit the Frenchman’s minutes, Simeone said: “They have known me for 10 years. I am a club man and always will be.”

This situation, unsurprisingly, isn’t going down well with Griezmann. According to L’Equipe, the 31-year-old has asked Atlético to negotiate a lower fee with Barcelona and activate the purchase clause as soon as possible.

Here’s hoping that some kind of an agreement can be reached, because this is only going to get more awkward as the season goes on.

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Eddie Howe is mad teams are trying to milk Newcastle for all of its Saudi money

Strange things happen when your team is injected with an unending supply of funds

Newcastle coach Eddie Howe has accused his team’s rivals of artificially inflating the price of their players after the club was frustrated on transfer deadline day.

The Magpies fell short in their pursuit of several targets, including Leeds winger Jack Harrison, Leicester midfielder James Maddison, West Ham defender Harrison Ashby and Arsenal defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

To Howe the reason none of those players are with Newcastle is clear: the club’s never-ending supply of Saudi money.

When asked if domestic clubs were making it difficult on his team, Howe told a press conference: “That’s true, I would say so. That was definitely something we felt in the market. Domestic clubs didn’t want to be seen to be helping us. We’ll have to take that, that is part of where we are at the moment.

“We have certainly found there is no one there ready to do us a favor. It’s the narrative regarding us that has changed. If there is anything domestically, teams will put their price up if it is Newcastle. That is the same around the world, that is something we are having to deal with.

“That is why we have walked away from a few deals because I think it is important we are not seen as that club that will pay what is asked. I think it has to be fair.”

Despite the deals that didn’t go through, Newcastle spent a fair amount in its first summer window since being taken over by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia last October.

Newcastle spent around £130 million on players, including £60m on striker Alexander Isak, while they didn’t generate any income on player sales.

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Sergiño Dest knew he had to get out of Barcelona

The USMNT defender said it was an easy decision to join AC Milan

Sergiño Dest has said joining AC Milan from Barcelona was an easy decision as he looks for more playing time ahead of the World Cup.

Dest completed a year-long loan move on deadline day, with the Italian champions holding an option to purchase the fullback.

The loan came amid Barcelona boss Xavi’s decision to freeze Dest out of his team, with the USMNT defender not even making the matchday squad for two of the club’s three games this season.

After making the move to Serie A, Dest admitted that he needed to find a place where he’d see the field as he eyes a starting spot for the USMNT in Qatar.

“It was an easy decision to make,” Dest told AC Milan’s official website, “Everything happened really quickly, like in one day. I had to make a decision really quick to change my life – to go to another club, in another country, in another culture. I love this club and it’s a club I wanted to play for when I was younger and I think this is a nice step for me and a good chance to play again.”

Dest added: “I need to get minutes for the World Cup. I need to play, not only for the World Cup, I just want to play always. They gave me a great opportunity so I didn’t even think twice. I was like, ‘I have to do it, I have to play.'”

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John Brooks finds his landing spot, signs with Benfica

Brooks is heading to the Portuguese giants

John Brooks has, at long last, found his next club.

The U.S. men’s national team center back, who became a free agent on July 1 after five seasons with Wolfsburg, has signed with Benfica on a one-year contract.

Brooks and Wolfsburg mutually announced that they would not be reaching a deal over a contract extension all the way back in March. Despite being linked with a few suitors over the summer—most credibly with Hoffenheim, while some flimsier rumors pointed towards Feyenoord or Saudi Arabia—it was mostly quiet for Brooks as the transfer window raged on throughout the summer.

However, the last two days of the transfer window got lively for him. First, Brooks seemed certain to sign for Mallorca, with reports going as far as to say that he was photographed at the Visit Mallorca Stadium.

Then, on deadline day, a dramatic reversal. Benfica reportedly came in at the last minute and won Brooks over. While league play in Portugal isn’t at the same level as what Brooks would have seen in LaLiga, the fact is that Benfica offers a guarantee of Champions League soccer this season, and a strong chance of being back there in years to come. Mallorca, who avoided relegation by a single point last year, can’t say the same.

Does this boost Brooks’ USMNT chances?

Finding an attack-minded club with real pressure to win the league may be the best answer Brooks has for Gregg Berhalter and the USMNT. Berhalter has not called Brooks in since September 2021, and in July told ESPN’s Fútbol Americas that among other things, he wanted to see Brooks improve when playing with a high line, as the USMNT intends to use.

Benfica is generally the aggressor in its league matches, so the high line issue should be answered one way or another. On the other hand, Brooks will join a team that already has six center backs vying for two spots in manager Roger Schmidt’s 4-2-3-1 formation. Veteran Nicolás Otamendi has partnered Morato in Champions League qualifying, while Lucas Veríssimo and João Victor return from injury. Jan Vertonghen is also at Benfica, but academy product António Silva got the nod alongside Otamendi in a recent 3-0 win at Boavista.

In other words, if Brooks can battle his way to a starting role here, he’s doing everything Berhalter has said he needs to do. It’s just a big “if” to be facing less than three months from the World Cup.

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