The New York Red Bulls ushered in a new era on Wednesday with the announcement of Mike Petke's departure as head coach. Now, it appears, the club has its sights set on a new midfielder familiar with new head coach Jesse Marsch.
Sources have confirmed to Goal USA that the Red Bulls are in negotiations to acquire Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan. The American midfielder, who has made 49 appearances for the U.S. national team, was a teammate of Marsch's with Chivas USA and also played under Marsch during Marsch's time as a U.S. assistant.
Kljestan, 29, has been eyeing a departure from Anderlecht for the better part of the past year and nearly completed a move to the LA Galaxy last summer before the deal fell through in the final stages. With the Red Bulls, Kljestan would be returning to the area where he played college soccer at Seton Hall.
Kljestan's acquisition would also lend credibility to the growing belief that Australian star Tim Cahill won't be back in 2015. Cahill endured a frustrating 2014 season with the Red Bulls, and though Petke's departure seemed to suggest Cahill might stick around, acquiring Kljestan would leave the Red Bulls with a surplus of midfield options, though Marsch could choose to try and pair Cahill with Bradley Wright-Phillips in a two-forward system.