Garber downplays league interference in Maurice Edu deal

The league commissioner said that MLS HQ was within its rights to exercise control over Philadelphia's proposed signing of the U.S. national team midfielder.
PHILADELPHIA -- Speaking to media at the 2014 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, commissioner Don Garber addressed the holdup in a potential deal to bring Maurice Edu to the Philadelphia Union.

Union fans were upset that the league had reportedly put the brakes on a deal for U.S. men's national team and Stoke City midfielder Edu, but Garber dismissed the idea that the league was intrusively involved in the transaction, and said talks were still happening.

"Discussions are ongoing," said Garber. "As recently as late last night and early this morning. There's nothing I can report on now, and there's a hope that Maurice can get signed and the Union can find a way to fit him in.

"There was way too much made of the league role in this. Let me be very clear, whether it's our league or any other league, player signings are approved by the league. This is no different than any other transaction. The league office is going to review and be very engaged in what players get paid, and what their contract length is, et cetera."

Garber noted the league's responsibility to find the best value possible, alluding to the widely reported $1.2 million per annum figure quoted in regards to Edu.

"In this particular case, they're going to continue to negotiate a deal that's going to makes sense. If it makes sense for Maurice, he'll come back, if it doesn't make sense for Maurice he won't come back. But this whole idea that the league rejected Maurice coming in, we reject deals every day if we don't agree that they're the right deal.

"I think many of the media folks, I've read some of your reports, not all of you thought the salary that was being bandied around was the right salary either. They're going to go back to the drawing board and hopefully get a deal done."

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