We've heard the rumblings for a couple weeks now. FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo told reporters a couple weeks ago that the club had a midfielder target that they hoped to sign in the coming weeks. With the MLS transfer window set to close next week, that timeframe is getting shorter by the second.
Friday on MLSSoccer.com, Clavijo dropped possibly the biggest hint to date as to who the mystery midfielder might be.
"[He is] a good player that we want to bring here." Clavijo explained to MLSsoccer.com on Thursday after practice. "The needs of [his current] team are more important than the needs of FC Dallas at this time. They are ... trying to make a decision and finalize what they [started] and hopefully win the championship and allow the player to go."
That doesn't narrow it down too far with many of the world's leagues wrapping up their seasons in the coming weeks.
If that deal doesn't fall through for Clavijo and FC Dallas, the also hinted at a possible trade within MLS that could be the club's second option.
"We have an MLS player that we are interested in," Clavijo said, "but it's up to the team and Dallas to come to terms and that's another set of obstacles that needs to be looked through by us."
From what my sources tell me, the club has already made this mystery player the top claim on their Discovery player list for the season. If you don't know what the Discovery player claim is, here is the short and sweet from the MLS rules on the matter:
Each club has the opportunity to make six discovery signings per season (expansion teams may make 10 discovery signings in their inaugural season). A club may have up to 10 discovery claims on unsigned players at any time and may remove or add players at any time. The last day for discovery player signings is September 13, 2013 - coinciding with the roster freeze date and trade deadline.
The six discovery signings can be used to fill senior roster spots only. If multiple clubs claim the same player using a discovery, the club that filed the claim first will have first rights to the player. Discovery claims expire following each season. If the League and player are unable to reach an agreement during the season, the club that first filed the discovery retains the right of first refusal in the event the player is later signed by the League.
MLS and the clubs will not publicize that list but I am confident that this midfielder tops FC Dallas' list right now. I don't have the names of any of the other players on their list at the moment.
Dallas could still get this player later this summer when the full international transfer window opens back up. But based on the quotes from Clavijo and what others have told me, the club wants to make smart moves right now that don't impact the locker room chemistry. They saw how a club like Vancouver was doing well at the start of last season and then faded due to locker room issues when the slew of transfers came in town.
We here at BigDSoccer.com are going to take a stab at figuring out who the mystery international is going to be. Steve Fenn already laid the ground work in this piece a little while back but he will be back to reveal who he thinks is "the guy".
Who are you hoping that it might be? The pool of players is pretty narrow now.