Jorgen Skjelvik plays for the LA galaxy -- Photo by Brittany Campbell
Brittany Campbell

Skjelvik to Hammarby being discussed

CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy are shopping defender Jorgen Skjelvik. CoG has learned the defender, who was acquired by the team in December of 2017, is being offered for transfer to Swedish side Hammarby IF (note AEG owns 45% of Hammarby IF, and owns 100-percent of the LA Galaxy).

Skjelvik, who is from Norway, has played for the Galaxy 46 times over his two seasons with the club and amassed more than 3,800 minutes. But under Guillermo Barros Schelotto has found his playing time limited with the addition of defenders Giancarlo Gonzalez and Diego Polenta.

Hailed initially as the replacement for former Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme, Skjelvik was one of the highest-paid defenders in Major League Soccer at his acquisition. And the MLS Players Union pegs his guaranteed compensation at just over $1-million for the 2019 season. He’s also the fourth highest-paid player on the Galaxy’s roster — just Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jonathan dos Santos, and Romain Alessandrini are higher.

The deal with Hammarby, however, is not a sure thing with sources telling CoG that there’s hope it can be completed before the transfer window closes on Wednesday at 9:59 p.m.

The Galaxy, who are looking to end a months-long saga by signing Argentine winger Cristian Pavon, seem to have the money to complete that deal. Emmanuel Boateng was sent to DC United for Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), and the Galaxy then traded General allocation Money for TAM with Orlando City earlier in the day. The result of both moves netting them is $386,220 in TAM.

So in this case, the possible departure of Skjelvik seems to be focused more on the cash and less on an additional player. But his departure would free up an international spot.

Speculation could point to the Galaxy possibly trying to add a second piece — besides Pavon — before the window closes. And more than a few unconfirmed names are floating around the internet if the Skjelvik deal can be completed in time.

But the deal with Hammarby may still go through even after the MLS window closes. The Allsvenskan — Sweden’s top flight of soccer — has an extended window as they prepare for the start of the season. And a transfer window only needs to be open in the league a player is going to for it to be legal.

There is no deal imminent, and the Galaxy declined to comment publicly, but privately didn’t deny a deal was being discussed. But the club is working hard at making moves before this transfer window comes to a rapid close.

Edit: A previous version of this article stated that Hammarby’s season hadn’t started yet. That was corrected.

Edit: Corrected the confirmed amount of Targeted Allocation Money the Galaxy have received in the two deals that were mentioned.