The next rumor in the ongoing, will he or won’t he re-sign, saga for Alan Pulido took another couple steps forward this week. First, came a report from Rodrigo Camacho of Fox Sports Mexico that Pulido won’t re-sign with Sporting Kansas City. He also reported that Chivas Guadalajara want him now on a free transfer, while Sporting KC want “to negotiate.” It’s unclear from that report (more clarity coming in a second) if that meant SKC negotiating with Pulido or with Chivas for a sale.
🔴 El Guadalajara negocia el regreso de Alan Pulido. Retomaron contacto con el jugador y el club hace poco.
— Rodrigo Camacho (@rodrigocamacho_) May 31, 2023
Then, the account “Sporting KC Daily” got clarification that Sporting KC were trying to get a transfer fee for Pulido, versus letting him walk for free in the winter.
— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) June 2, 2023
Then came further reporting from Fernando Cevallos, also of Fox Sports Mexico, that their asking price is pretty high. $2 million.
🚨Chivas🚨Alan Pulido… #SportingKC quiere 2M de dólares por él, solo tiene 6 meses más de contrato, lo que podría favorecer en la negociación donde podría entrar algún jugador para sacarlo ahora en verano… Pulido quiere volver y Chivas necesita un “9” de garantías @FOXSportsMX
— Fernando Cevallos (@FerCevallosF) June 1, 2023
What Does it All Mean?
I’d say it’s basically where we left it in early May, if you are interested in reading that in much greater detail.
Without re-writing every word I wrote in that story; I’ll try to summarize. If Sporting KC do nothing, Alan Pulido can sign a pre-contract this summer to leave for free once the season is over. Remember, they paid $8 million to get him from Chivas originally and another $2.2 million per season on his contract. If he plays out the entire season, they’ll be $16.8 million in the hole for Pulido.
If they want to re-coup some of that investment, selling him in the coming weeks makes sense. They’d get some of that money back and save half a season worth of salary.
The complications of selling him now are twofold. First, Chivas almost certainly won’t pay that much money for a player they can have for free in six months (for reference, Sporting KC reportedly paid $280,000 to get Johnny Russell a little early from Derby County back in 2018). Second, it would almost certainly mean the 2023 season is a bust, and on the heels of SKC having the second-best record in the league in the month of May.
Peter Vermes seems to be coaching for his job. That’s probably why the price was set so high on Pulido. He’s not going to play the rest of the year with Stephen Afrifa or Khiry Shelton at striker. Willy Agada is set to be back this summer, but guys are seemingly never ready to go off an injury right away and it would take time for him to find his form, if he does at all.
The only way I see Vermes selling Pulido is if they have another player lined up. A big-time, Designated Player, who will be the team’s striker for the foreseeable future. That would be hard to pull off until they have the deal negotiated with Chivas. If they lock that down and free up a DP spot, then they can switch gears and it should be easier to get a player in the much busier summer window (for most of the world) than it may otherwise be.
So, let the rumors begin. Who should Sporting KC sign since it seems Alan Pulido isn’t long for a Sporting Blue jersey?
Update 3:40 PM: Thad asked Peter Vermes about Pulido and he said he hasn’t had any conversations with Chivas. That said, I feel like he wouldn’t tell us until it was over.
— Thad (@TheBackpost) June 2, 2023