The transfer window opens in a couple days and the rumors are heating up. With Crew SC sitting at the edge of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team could use some reinforcements. So start the rumor mill.
Source: Kenwyne Jones in talks with Columbus Crew. #CrewSC— MLS Transfers (@MLSTransfers) July 2, 2015
Kenwyne Jones is a Trinidad and Tobago international. He is a bruising target forward who currently plays for Cardiff City in the Championship, a step below the English Premier League. He scored 13 times to lead the team despite being sent on loan to Bournemouth in late March.
As evidenced by the loan deal, Jones is most certainly available as Cardiff looks to cut costs. He has a year left on his deal, but I'm sure his team would love to get his reported $45,000 a week salary off the balance sheet for a cut rate fee.
That leaves Crew SC on the hook for a large salary. Jones likely won't want to terminate his $2.4 million a year deal to accept a lot less money. Jones would very likely be a Designated Player coming into a system that currently uses a single forward. Either Berhalter is changing systems or augmenting the striker corps at a high cost. I'm not sure the math makes sense.
Now to fully bury the lead. A prospective Jones transfer is a very long shot. Coming back to how this rumor started. It's a single tweet from a single source. Many of these sources are agents who are trying to stir up interest in their player. The definitions of talks gets a little loose. I've received emails and tweets suggesting Crew SC are in negotiations with a player and some come to fruition while nothing came from plenty others. I take those with a grain of salt.
It also could be very true that the team did reach out to Jones to gauge his interest in coming to MLS. Perhaps Jones doesn't want to give up his European adventure. Maybe Crew SC doesn't like the salary requirements that Jones came back with. Those are talks, just not fruitful ones.
Frankly, I expect Crew SC is talking to several players over the course of the year. Many of those conversations never get past the early stages. Jones very well may fit into that scenario. It's a challenge to find players who fit the system, at the right price, and with the right mentality. You talk to a lot of players to find the ones that want to be in town and the ones who fit payroll.
I certainly could be wrong. I doubted the Cedrick Mabwati transfer would go through, but Crew SC got the deal done. However, when I look at what this team needs, the salary Jones would command, and the thin sourcing, I see this as a very long shot.