Yallop: Jones deal 'not officially turned down'

The Chicago Fire remain interested in the U.S. national team star, and coach Frank Yallop says the player has "not officially turned down" the team's offer.
Chicago Fire coach Frank Yallop remains hopeful of adding U.S. national team midfielder Jermaine Jones to his squad, despite reports that the World Cup star had rejected a contract offer from the Major League Soccer side.

“I actually spoke with Jermaine yesterday and I wanted to put forward our club and what we thought of him," Yallop said after his team's 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew. "We'd love him to join us. I've done that. He has an offer, it's not officially turned down because we have not heard anything back. We are still waiting. I think it was a big offer. Andrew (Hauptman, Chicago's owner) stepped up and put out a good contract offer. I think he's thinking about it and we will probably find out in the next couple of days.

“He's a nice kid, he's receptive, he wants to play in MLS. He's coming from a big contract and I think that any time you have that in your background, if you want to come and play somewhere then you have to commit yourself to do that and it's maybe not as much as you like, but, it's the market value we have in this country and I think if he comes to the understanding that it can work out, and it's a good offer.

"It's pretty much up there for us and for the league. I'm hoping he thinks about it and takes it, but again, I'm not Jermaine and he's going to decide. We're just waiting to hear back.”

Chicago is currently eighth place in MLS' Eastern Conference, with 22 points from a 3-5-13 record, five points behind Columbus in the last playoff spot with a game in hand.