The United States, a new market that Aberdeen wants to explore
A recruitment drive that started with well-known Scottish football players has spread internationally for Aberdeen.
It’s no surprise that the United States football scene is shaping up in high profile for Dons boss Stephen Glass. After all, Major League Soccer (MLS) and the leagues below are divisions the new Aberdeen manager is familiar with.
Atlanta United right-back Jack Gurr, a 25-year-old Englishman, will join the Dons on loan from former club Glass and his imminent arrival could be followed by Houston Dynamo forward Christian Ramirez.
Glass knows Gurr. The duo worked together in their time at the helm of Atlanta United 2, the MLS club’s second string team that plays in the United Soccer League championship, the second tier of football across the Atlantic.
It’s no surprise to see a manager come back to a market he knows and use his contacts, and it won’t be a shock if Gurr is joined at Pittodrie next season by another member of the Atlanta United squad. .
Since the two clubs, Atlanta and Aberdeen, have formed a strategic partnership, it would be like cutting your nose off to upset you by not using access to the talent pool on your doorstep.
We’ve seen him operate from the US to Scotland before with former Red Stripes utility player Jon Gallagher, now at Austin FC in MLS, and – if Covid hadn’t looked up last year. – the exchange of players would have flown from Pittodria to the state of Georgia also with Jack MacKenzie ready for a loan from Donations.
Loans are useful tools in any manager’s arsenal, but Glass’s interest in Ramirez represents an attempt to dive into the US transfer market for Aberdeen.
Glass’s ex-club attempted to bring him to Atlanta 14 months ago, while his assistant Allan Russell worked with the forward during his time in the United States when he first set up his company of ‘specialized trainer.
Aberdeen has clearly done his homework and believes Ramirez has something to offer.
The Dons are expected to make their choice for the former USA international, but there are hurdles to overcome before Aberdeen fans see the 30-year-old run out in Pittodrie.
First of all, they have to come to an agreement with the league itself and let’s just say it’s complicated.
Houston would receive a portion of the fee, which is determined by its investment in the player, while some would go to the league itself. The selling club’s salary budget is actually only increased by what the player on their books was paid, so it’s not as if fees are being reinvested in the salaries a club can offer.
Negotiating fees is the easiest part
In many ways, negotiating the transfer is the easiest part. It’s getting him into the country, which is the challenge.
Let’s start with the work permit: Ramirez has two international hats for the United States, but they were over two years ago. They will be taken into account with his age, playing time and club status when assessing the granting of a permit.
In the post-Brexit era for work permits, it seems very likely that this request will be appealed if the Dons get their deal this far down the line and this is where the persuasive powers of the New director of football Steven Gunn will be needed.
Can he argue, as Glass and Russell arguably have, that a 30-year-old MLS forward can add to the Scottish Premiership?
The Dons have already successfully argued their case, having convinced the SFA that 24-year-old Montenegrin of Serbian origin Nikola Vujadinovic should be granted a work permit for a loan from Italian club Udinese in 2010 after the application was rejected. initial.
A similar fight looms if Aberdeen makes a deal for Ramirez, but – with Gurr on his way and Dons chairman Dave Cormack expressing his desire to see the club cast the net wide – it seems certain that the US market is one des Dons, especially when Glass is in charge, will want to explore.