A drawn out transfer from Argentina’s Huracan to the New York Red Bulls last winter for a club record transfer fee earned the hashtag #KakuWatch. Now, the sequel is playing out with talented Kaku looking to make a move to Club America in Liga MX.
The Red Bulls have been silent about the reported negotiations, using social media to show the Paraguayan international training with the club in Bradenton, Fla.
But Kaku and his agent, Gustavo Casasola have been vocal about their desire for a Mexican move.
Casasola, who also represents Atlanta United’s newest Designated Player, Pity Martinez, has gone on the offensive. He told ESPN Mexico the Red Bulls are seeking a $12 million transfer fee for the 24-year-old. He also suggested the club originally agreed on an offer of $6.5 million to 7 million to secure the transfer.
The Red Bulls reportedly paid Huracan $6.25 million for 80 percent of Kaku’s rights. According to the MLS Players Association, Kaku received $709,090.80 in total compensation last year.
“He has a bad salary compared to his quality. It is a good salary compared to any person, but if they tell me that it is in the price level of [Atlanta United star] Josef Martinez — well, he earns five times less than Josef,” Casasola said. “I don’t understand. A player’s career is short and a footballer’s time lasts six or seven years.”
Casasola then blasted Red Bulls management during a phone interview with Fox Deportes, claiming Oliver Mintzlaff, the global head of soccer for Red Bull, initially approved the smaller transfer fee only to then double the asking price.
Casasola, who is currently in Bradenton, called Mintzlaff, who he said he’s never met face-to-face, an “ubermensch,” and described the situation as “unjust” and “immoral.”
“(Mintzlaff) is the one who arbitrarily decides everything, but he never shows his face,” Casasola said. “It seems like he may have a little bit of a problem speaking to me. I’ll speak to him whenever he wants, Oliver Mintzlaff, wherever he wants.”
Casasola also used the Martin Luther King Jr. quote, “Everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was legal,” while describing what he referred to as the “immoral” negotiations denying Kaku’s ability to further his career and make him a happier player.
He also ranted the club hasn’t treated Kaku fairly, claiming it failed to pay his furniture allowance when he moved and refused to pick up the tab for an Uber on his return to the United States.
“Here’s a person who wants to work, to improve his job, to be with his family and be treated better, because they haven’t even paid him for the furniture and he bought the furniture a year ago,” Casasola said. “They should have paid for his Uber when he arrived the other day with his family. He couldn’t order it because the system in Argentina does not allow him to order one here.”
During an interview with ESPN Mexico, Kaku confirmed he asked the Red Bulls to negotiate a transfer to Club America.
“We want [the Red Bulls] to receive money and recoup what they invested so everyone can be happy, but I don’t think the price [they are asking] is reasonable,” said Kaku, who also indicated getting to see his large, extended family more frequently, which would be easier in Mexico, is another reason for his desired move.
Club America coach Miguel Herrera has chimed in, as well, saying the Mexican giants will spend wisely.
“We aren’t desperate. The team is doing well, and we are being cautious and looking for what we need to look for,” Herrera said in a press conference following a 1-0 Copa MX win over Atletico San Luis on Wednesday. “Everyone thinks America has to spend crazily, but no.
“We have an idea of what a player costs and we offer it, and we don’t have to go crazy because they [another club] want to be wise guys. We have a line [of thinking] and we’re following it. The good news is that the [players] we’ve spoken to do want to come.”
The Red Bulls, meanwhile, are staying silent, declining comment to Casasola’s media firestorm.