Report: MLS turns down transfer for FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira
This story has a lot to unpack.
On Wednesday evening, a new report was revealed that FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira had a transfer deal blocked by Major League Soccer.
According to The Athletic’s Tom Bogert, FC Dallas received a $13 million bid for USMNT forward Jesus Ferreira from Russian club Spartak Moscow that would have been accepted, but the league has stepped in and told all parties that the potential deal would not move forward.
Ferreira wanted to make the move and was in negotiations with Spartak over personal terms when MLS communicated its decision to Dallas and Ferreira. The reasoning delivered to the club and player was that there are risks for American business entities doing business with Russian entities.
MLS has the authority to nix the transfer because, as a single-entity league, all paperwork and transfers go through the MLS office.
This is not the first time MLS has stepped in to stop a potential move like this. In 2022, MLS stopped a potential $5 million deal between the New York Red Bulls and Lokomotiv Moscow for Cristian Casseres Jr. The midfielder was eventually transferred to Toulouse in France last summer in a deal that could be worth north of $1 million if all performance-based incentives are hit.
So why was this deal blocked?
According to the report, since Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, sporting entities worldwide have largely severed ties with the country. FIFA and UEFA had suspended Russia from international competition “until further notice” in 2022.
Spartak itself has also suffered from financial problems since the wake of the invasion, and in August of 2022, 100% of the club and its stadium were sold to Russian oil firm Lukoil, whose co-founder Leonid Fedun previously owned the club. Lukoil has also had sanctions from the US treasury since 2014.
At the end of the day, MLS has the final say in these moves. They’ve probably blocked more transfers over the years than what has been reported, too.