Sport1’s Patrick Berger reports that D.C. United has agreed to terms with Schalke for Victor Pálsson, a 31-year-old defensive midfielder from Iceland, for 500,000 Euros and is expected to sign a long-term contract (he has family in Canada) in the next several days. Berger reported last week that D.C. had been interested in Pálsson for some time now, but Wayne Rooney’s arrival as coach has apparently expedited the talks.
Pálsson began his career with Liverpool’s reserves as an 18-year-old but did not register any first-team appearances before starting his first team career with Hibernian in 2011. Pálsson has appeared with European club teams NEC, Helsingborgs, and FC Zurich before playing the last three years in Germany, first with Darmstadt before moving to Schalke. Assuming the move is close to complete, this would not be Pálsson’s first time in MLS, having appeared in 16 games (4 starts) for the New York Red Bulls in 2012. Pálsson has also appeared in 29 games with Iceland’s national team, most recently in World Cup Qualifiers last October.
Pálsson plays largely at defensive midfield but can also play center back, though where Rooney and D.C. would decide to play him would be interesting. Presumed incumbent Russell Canouse has a contract through 2023 but has played in 20 or more games three times in five full seasons; on the off chance Pálsson is being considered at center back, Steve Birnbaum and Brendan Hines-Ike are also both signed through 2023, with the former on a TAM contract. Then there is also the issue of roster logistics, as Pálsson would potentially be the 12th international player on D.C.’s roster.
More on this as it warrants.