The Philadelphia Union have long made it a policy to not comment on potential moves but went back on that rule when they publicly announced that they were moving on from Freddy Adu. A month after, with no realistic suitors for Adu's services, the club could be stuck with the inconsistent attacking midfielder as the Major League Soccer season starts in 10 days.
Lesson learned: Stick with what has made you successful.
A source with knowledge of Philadelphia's situation revealed to Goal.com that MLS clubs are basically asking for Adu on a free transfer and want the Union to foot some of his reported $500,000 annual salary.
"I think teams are afraid to bring Freddy in because of the way Philadelphia portrayed him," the source told Goal.com via text message. "He refused to take a pay cut (on a guaranteed deal)...[but] his salary is not an issue, teams find a way to make the numbers work.
He added, "Philly would probably take a hit to diminish their cap hit; the problem is teams know he is on a high number and on top of it they made him look like a problem.
"Freddy is a good kid, he needs tough love but he's not a problem in the locker room at all from what I've heard."
It is likely for those reasons that Adu has been linked, seemingly out of nowhere, with a move to Asia, with the 23-year-old gauging the interest of K-League and J-League clubs. The source also revealed that two Mexican clubs were very interested in Adu but have found it difficult to recruit the former Benfica player due to his foreign status.
Still, Adu's agent Richard Motzkin wouldn't rule out a move to a MLS club. He insisted that both domestic and foreign clubs remain interested in his client.
"Yes," he replied via email in regards to possible suitors from MLS and foreign clubs.
The New York Red Bulls were rumored to be one of the team's interested in Adu, especially after team head coach Mike Petke admitted the club's interest.
“Freddy is on our radar. We’re looking to every possibility, but right now we’re comfortable with what we have," Petke said in January.
With the Red Bulls recently acquiring Eric Alexander from the Portland Timbers, it is unlikely that Adu will join. It is uncertain whether or not Adu will start the season with the Union as Motzkin wouldn't put a timetable on a potential move.
When asked about whether or not Adu would be a Union player on opening weekend, Motzkin said it was "to be determined."
The Union have declined to add any additional comment, only referencing the intial statement by John Hacksworth about wanting to move Adu from the team.
For a player once considered to be the future of U.S. Soccer, the continued uncertainty over Adu's next move will only add to his stalled development. Adu hasn't been called up to the U.S. national team since Jurgen Klinsmann's first game with the team, facing Mexico in an August 2011 friendly.
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