A guest post from Kerith Gabriel of the Daily News. Be sure to pick up tomorrow's papers for more coverage of all of today's big stories.
When the January transfer window closes Tuesday, it won’t include an announcement that Union forward Sébastien Le Toux is leaving for Bolton — but it might end with Le Toux headed to Vancouver.
The Daily News has learned that Le Toux is still being shopped, and it could be coming from an MLS bidder. Though the window doesn’t directly affect player movement within Major League Soccer, England-based Daily Mirror writer Alan Nixon - who kept eye on Le Toux’s trial spell last week - posted on his Twitter feed that Vancouver has showed interest in the 28-year-old Frenchman.
Nixon writes: "Those balls [at Bolton] are now down to four. Le Toux heading for Vancouver…"
Le Toux made $179,000 in guaranteed compensation last season.
But here’s the big twist in a possible move of Le Toux and the club’s announcement that goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón has left for a team in Colombia: the Daily News also learned it could free up enough space for the Union to finally announce it purchased or intends to purchase the contract rights of midfielder Roger Torres from Colombian side America de Cali.
When asked about Torres, 19, recently, Nowak said: "Our philosophy from the beginning was to invest in youth and Roger fits that description."
Another interesting bit of news surrounds Le Toux who sources said rejected getting a closer look from English Premier League club Bolton and left the trial early. This news appears to support the words of Bolton manager Owen Coyle, who told the British press: "Sébastien came in for a couple of days, and to be fair to him he hadn’t trained for 4 or 5 weeks. He did fine and that’s where it is. We’d have probably needed a longer look."
But it’s said Le Toux didn’t allow any extra time and returned much to the chagrin of Union officials perhaps looking forward to a transfer fee upwards of $1 million. Union boss Peter Nowak offered no comment and members of the technical staff did not return a request for comment.
It appears now any chance the Union had at persuading Bolton to reconsider may have passed as Sky Sports reported yesterday the club has focused its energies on Argentine forward Juan Manuel Iturbe. Coyle told Sky: "We do have one loan signing available to us. We're hopeful we'll be able to add before the window closes."
In the case of Mondragón, the Union announced that the 40-year-old netminder, acquired from German first division club FC Cologne last January, is heading back to Deportivo Cali, the club where he got his professional start at 21. Mondragón, played in 27 matches for the Union, boasting an 1.06 goals against average, and an 8-8-11 record with seven shutouts.
Mondragón cited family reasons for his desire to return to Colombia where he plans to wrap up a 22-year-career that spanned seven countries.
"It has been an absolute honor and a privilege to be part of the Union family," said Mondragón. "For family reasons, I have requested the club to allow me the opportunity to finish my career where it started. I look forward to coming back to PPL Park as an avid fan and part of the Union family. I wish the club continued success."
While not listed as a designated player, Mondragón collected $396,666.67 for his services last season. Per the team’s policy, the amount of his transfer fee was undisclosed.