Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Philadelphia Union finally part ways with Freddy Adu, acquire Brazilian World Cup veteran Kléberson

The Union have acknowledged that they are trying to get rid of Freddy Adu. (AP file photo)
The Union have acknowledged that they are trying to get rid of Freddy Adu. (AP file photo)

The Philadelphia Union's months-long attempt to get rid of Freddy Adu finally came to a conclusion on Monday.

Adu and the Union reached what the team called "a contract termination by mutual consent" that will allow Adu to join Brazilian club Bahia.

"We would like to thank Freddy Adu for his service to the Union over the past two years and wish him the best of luck as he continues his career in Brazil," Union manager John Hackworth said in a press release.

Adu leaves Philadelphia having recorded seven goals and two and a half assists in 35 games since he joined the team, midway through the 2011 season. He was the Union's first ever designated player. 

As part of the deal, the Union acquired veteran Brazilian midfielder Kléberson on loan from Bahia. He will count as a Designated Player, though no other financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

In effect, the Union and Bahia completed a trade, as has been reported by multiple media outlets both in the United States and Brazil in recent days.

Most of the time in soccer transactions, players are exchanged for money; this time, players were exchanged for each other.

The deal frees the Union from having to pay the two remaining guaranteed years on Adu's salary. That total cost would have run to approximately $1.3 million.

Because Kléberson is coming in on loan, he will cost substantially less than what Adu would have cost. Though his salary is above the Designated Player threshhold of $368,750, it will likely be less than Adu's $519,000 guaranteed.

Kléberson will not be able to step on to the field for the Union until his visa paperwork and a medical examination are completed. As such, it is unknown as to whether he will be available for Saturday's game at the New York Red Bulls.

The 33-year-old represented the five-time World Cup champions at the 2002 and 2010 World Cup, as well as the 2004 Copa América and FIFA Confederations Cup.

At club level, Kléberson has played for clubs including Manchester United, Turkish powerhouse Beşiktaş and Brazil's Flamengo. He moved from Flamengo to Bahia ahead of the 2012 season.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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