The LA Galaxy have been linked with many players over the course of the last few weeks. And while most have been unrealistic or enthusiastic reaches (e.g. Cristiano Ronaldo) one rumor seems to be picking up steam – André-Pierre Gignac.
A report from Metro surfaced on Tuesday (June 20, 2017) that states a League source confirmed the Galaxy’s interest in the French International. According to the article, the Galaxy have offered Liga MX side Tigres UNAL $6 million for the star striker. But that Tigres is thinking that number is low by as much as half and possibly a lot more – the valuation on the player spanning anywhere from $13 million to $25 million.
Corner of the Galaxy has heard from a source close to the team that there is “more than just talk going on” with Gignac. And while that gives no insight into the state of any ongoing negotiation, it does confirm that the club is interested in the player and that it seems a deal is being attempted.
But there are other teams considering the striker with apparent interest from both Turkey and France.
AEG, the owner of the Galaxy, has more than enough money to make any deal a possibility. It’s just whether or not they can make a business case for spending the desired amount. And whether or not the two teams can close that large gap in expectation.
Hearing from a source that Gignac to #LAGalaxy is more than just talk.
Metro reporting an offer has been made. https://t.co/jipaj8EJEE
— Corner Of The Galaxy (@GalaxyPodcast) June 21, 2017
Gignac, a 31-year old striker, is coming off his latest season with Tigres. He appeared in 40 games for the Liga MX club scoring 22 goals and tallying seven assists through all competitions. Since joining the Monterrey-based club in 2015 (July 1, 2015) he’s scored 53 goals, helped lead them to two Liga MX titles (Apertura 2015 & Apertura 2016) and was runner-up twice in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Listed as a center forward or striker by most accounts, he’s also found some time as a left-sided attacker as well. He’s creative as well as a finisher – both positions and qualities the Galaxy are sorely lacking at the moment.
But there’s another interesting tie-in to the current Galaxy squad. Gignac joined Marseille in August of 2010 and was playing for the French club when Romain Alessandrini, current Galaxy Designated Player, joined in 2014. The two players enjoyed a season together before Gignac transferred to Mexico.
The two former teammates, along with footballer Remy Cabella, were featured on Alessandrini’s Instagram page in Los Angeles hanging out together. Could this be the start of a reunion and the creation of a French Connection of sorts?
“I think Gignac is phenomenal and still has plenty in the tank,” Goal.com’s Mexico correspondent Jon Arnold told CoG. “Very few defenders can deal with his physicality and the speed he has for someone of his size.
“The one knock on him in Mexico is that when he’s not engaged he can become a non-factor, but he’s been incredible in matches that matter (playoffs, rivalry games, etc.).”
GALAXY’S TIME TO BE AGGRESSIVE
The MLS Transfer Window is rapidly approaching (July 10th – August 9th), and the Galaxy will need to make some moves. They currently sit in seventh place in the Western Conference and have injuries at nearly every position.
But the team has not been able to find a striker who can score. Instead, Alessandrini has had a team MVP type of year so far and is the only consistent source of offense. It’s dangerous to think that Alessandrini needs to keep up his current effort and form just to keep the Galaxy in the hunt for a playoff position. The club needs another offensive option that will be able to play with Giovani dos Santos and Alessandrini. Gignac seems a reasonable solution to that problem.
Tigres are positioning themselves to make some moves as well. Gignac’s contract with the club will expire on June 30, 2018. This leaves them with three choices: To attempt to re-sign Gignac before his contract is up, to transfer him in either the summer or winter transfer windows, or to let him play out his contract and become a free agent in 2018 risking the player walks away and the club would get nothing.
If they were to move Gignac in the summer window they would probably also be looking to find a replacement. According to ESPNFC, West Ham striker Enner Valencia looks to be heading toward Tigres. Perhaps signaling that the club is expecting to move Gignac soon.
“The Galaxy are always aggressive in the transfer market,” Galaxy President Chris Klein told CoG after the club’s draw with Houston over the weekend. But exactly who the club is targeting and when those players are expected wasn’t commented on.
The Galaxy will need to be aggressive as Gignac is a star in Liga MX and should find the physical style of play in MLS to suit his style. He would join a club that needs his services and could see the rest of his career play out for the Galaxy. This move would also solidify the Galaxy’s attacking core, linking all three DPs to each other for the foreseeable future.
When you could live and work in Los Angeles, playing with a former teammate, joining other French players (Clement Diop, Bradley Diallo) and French Speakers (Jelle Van Damme), at least to Gignac himself, LA seems to be the place to settle down.
Add in the fact that he’s adored by Mexican fans and would likely receive support from that community as well as the french community in and around the LA area and momentum, at least from the player, seems to be guiding him toward the Galaxy.
Now it’s up to the front office to find a price that makes sense to everyone involved. Tigres wants a lot of money. The Galaxy want to part with as little as possible. All of this simply means, there’s work to be done – a lot of work.