A deal that would have sent FC Dallas’ top goal-scorer and assists leader to South America fell through Thursday, the club announced.
Argentinian soccer club San Lorenzo had been in pursuit of FC Dallas’ Maxi Urruti and Michael Barrios. Talks over a potential deal had taken place over the past week, according to ESPN, with an initial offer coming Tuesday.
The second offer of $5 million total for both players was “much improved,” FC Dallas President Dan Hunt told ESPN, but was also declined.
Hunt said letting go of two of the club’s top players would go against the team’s win-now mentality.
“$5 million is attractive for both those players...but my brother [Clark Hunt, who oversees operations for FC Dallas] and I have a state goal of winning an MLS Cup,” Hunt said. “We’ve told our fans that’s what we want to do --we want to bring home that championship.
“Letting go of your leading goal-scored and [your team leader] in assists, that makes it very difficult.”
Urruti has 12 goals on the season, tied for the fifth-highest total in Major League Soccer. Barrios 12 assists are best on the team and second in MLS.
The window during which FC Dallas can add players has closed, so the team wouldn’t have been able to use the $5 million to improve the team until the offseason.
San Lorenzo is one of the “Big 5” in Argentinian football. Urruti and Barrios, though, want to stay the course in Frisco.
“We talked to both of the players, and they’re both honored,” Hunt said. “But after talking to the players, they didn’t want to abandon their teammates. They have a stated goal of winning an MLS Cup as a group. I think anything we would’ve done to hurt that wouldn’t have been good for the organization.”
Hunt said declining the offer from San Lorenzo doesn’t mean the club won’t make moves during the next transfer window. He said there is a lot of interest in FC Dallas players and that he thinks the club will have a “very busy December.”
FC Dallas is currently seventh in the Western Conference, six points behind the leading Seattle Sounders in the standings.