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D.C. United trying to sign Luka Modric, Edison Flores & Russell Canouse rumors, and more: Freedom Kicks for 1/7/2020

Yesterday was too much

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Getafe CF v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Just another humdrum Monday, right? You know, just a day where D.C. United is seriously linked with Luka Modric, and gets ever closer to signing Edison Flores, and rebuffs a bid for Russell Canouse, and maybe hits their ceiling in the attempt to lure Santos Laguna into signing off on a deal to get Brian Lozano here. Oh, and there are now two unnamed European players involved, and there’s a stray Andy Najar rumor, a “what could have been” for the Washington Spirit, and a change in leadership with Loudoun United.

Yup, normal Monday.

D.C. United targeting Luka Modric | The Athletic
Let’s get the biggest news out of the way: D.C. United has apparently had at least some level of talks with Luka Modric about leaving Real Madrid and coming to the District. There’s no unexpected “actually he has a stake in a coffee shop” twist here, either: we’re talking about the Golden Ball winner from the last World Cup possibly playing at Audi Field for the team that a lot of us can go see via a short drive or stint on public transit.

There’s a long way to go from “talks” to Dave Johnson calling his name on a broadcast, but this sounds like it could really happen in the near (probably not before the season kicks off, but still) future.

Sources: Russell Canouse eyeing a move abroad as D.C. United rejects bid from Dynamo Dresden | The Athletic
Pablo Maurer was busy yesterday. Here, he’s got Russell Canouse on the record about the prospect of a move back to Germany, and details on United’s position with regard to the initial offer from Dynamo Dresden.

My purely circumstantial thought on this move: It’s not gonna happen. East German clubs are generally really struggling financially, and Canouse is very valuable here. However, if some other German club on firmer financial footing came along...never say never. United is currently looking at a logjam in defensive midfield, and Felipe’s contract is on the books after being carried by Vancouver last year. Not rooting for a Canouse departure over here, but sometimes that’s the business.

Speaking of the business, how about even more transfer rumors!

The huge deal for Edison Flores could apparently be confirmed any day now, while the move for Brian Lozano appears to have hit a pretty major (like, a few million bucks) snag. We could still see movement there, especially if Lozano decides to really agitate to force Santos to let him go, but it sounds like the gap between the clubs is going to be too much.

Dossier transfers in Jupiler Pro League Wintermercato 2020 |
Look, I want us all to be excited about the prospect of Andy Najar coming back to United. I hope it happens. But, at this point, this new rumor consists entirely of this Belgian site listing Najar as a possible departure from Anderlecht, and then placing “(DC United)” next to his name. The Honduran media reports out there all refer back to this piece, which has nothing behind it at this point.

There are circumstantial reasons to think it makes sense, so be hopeful, but don’t be too hopeful until there’s some actual smoke to this fire.

More rumors? You know it!

There are major moves brewing in NWSL, including Portland probably trading big-name players to get the #1 pick in the draft (which is in just 9 days!). The Washington Spirit’s move for Mariana Larroquette is something that head coach Richie Burke has hinted at vaguely (namely, comparing the difficulty of trying to clinch a transfer from a South American club with the ease of their successful move for Kumi Yokoyama), but this is the first real confirmation that they were after Larroquette, who impressed this summer.

The Thorns are shaking up the NWSL Draft | Stumptown Footy
Going back a moment, here’s a look at why the Thorns could be trading well-regarded players like Emily Sonnett and Midge Purce.

One last piece of local news, because yesterday was out of control:

It’s unclear at this juncture what Loudoun United will do, but they will have to do something. Behnke was a regular presence at every Loudoun-related event, and spoke on the team’s behalf at the press conference announcing that the Spirit’s schedule would include 4 games at Segra Field.

That’s it! I lied, this is almost entirely a local teams-related Freedom Kicks, because the local teams were having their busiest day in months in terms of major news. It’s supposed to snow today, so if you’re working in D.C., get the hell out of there before 3pm. Or, if you’re like me and have Caps tickets...I guess good luck?