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Alphonso Davies to Bayern? Whitecaps on brink of historic transfer

Vancouver Whitecaps forward Alphonso Davies (67) against D.C. United in the inaugural game played at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Vancouver Whitecaps forward Alphonso Davies (67) against D.C. United in the inaugural game played at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday Alphonso Davies was absent from Vancouver’s final training session ahead of their Cascadia Cup clash against the Seattle Sounders.

Sources have told Pro Soccer USA the Vancouver Whitecaps and German club Bayern Munich are negotiating a historic transfer deal for Davies, but there are issues that could kill the deal.

Speculation about Davies’ future has intensified during the past 24 hours.

Canadian paper Globe and Mail reported on Friday,  “The club said the 17-year-old MLS all-star was away with the team’s permission and that his status for Saturday’s game against the Seattle Sounders is ‘unknown.’”

The article quickly prompted speculation Davies could be negotiating to play for another club, with recent rumors suggesting a link to the English Premier League club Huddersfield Town.

Stringent work permit regulations in the United Kingdom would, however, make it difficult for Davies to join a club in England. In fact, any deal struck with a European club could not be completed until November 2018 when Davies turns 18 because FIFA rules do not allow under-age players from outside the EU to move to European clubs.

Then late Friday night The Athletic reported Davies was off to negotiate a deal with the Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich. Bayern, according to the online magazine, is willing to spend in the region of $12 million (€10 million), plus bonuses, for the Whitecaps super-talent. 

For that price, Davies would become the most expensive outgoing Major League Soccer player in history. Brought through the Whitecaps’ academy, Davies is currently valued €800,000 by the German homepage transfermarkt.de.

By completing the deal, Vancouver would be able to keep a large percentage of the transfer fee thanks to changes in MLS outgoing transfer rules. As a result, it is no surprise that the Whitecaps would seek the maximum amount from selling Davies to Bayern. 

Trying to play hardball, reports from Germany suggest the Whitecaps have sought more than the $12 million offered by the German club. Bayern, however, are one of the toughest negotiators in world football. The club is the richest club in terms of equity on the planet – a position achieved without the help of an investor.

Although Bayern has been aggressive when it comes investing in the North American market – the club recently signed a development deal with FC Dallas – the Bavarians are not willing to make this deal happen at any cost. As a result, Pro Soccer USA was told by sources in Germany the deal is now in danger of falling apart, with Bayern prepared to walk away from the negotiations. 

The Whitecaps, in turn, seem to have an inflated sense of Davies’ value. While Davies is without a doubt the brightest prospect to be developed by the league, European clubs are still somewhat cautious when it comes to signing youngsters from MLS. 

A source told Pro Soccer USA that while Bayern believes Davies has the numbers to make the jump from North America to the Bundesliga. At the same time, there is still a sense of gamble among the Bayern executives – a gamble that needs to be sold to Germany’s biggest fan base, who have already been critical when it comes to the potential arrival of a relatively unknown player by European standards.

Right now, the negotiations are at a crossroads. The Whitecaps have to decide whether they will risk it all and potentially walk away from Davies’ dream move to Europe or they accept current terms and sign what would be a historic MLS transfer.

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