Photo courtesy of the LA Galaxy

Rumor: No end to Pavon saga in sight

Cristian Pavon was the most important piece of a 2020 offense that fell flat more often than not. But that doesn’t mean the LA Galaxy can overpay for him.

The LA Galaxy remain in pursuit of midfielder Cristian Pavon, according to the latest reports.

The on-again/off-again negotiations have been a constant barrage of information and misinformation that, by this point, could have any Galaxy fan pulling their hair out.

Pavon was extremely good for the Galaxy in 2019 and 2020. His 14 goals and 15 assists over the two seasons made him an invaluable weapon when there were very few on the Galaxy (outside of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2019).

But don’t be fooled by fake deadlines and some incredibly suspect math.

The primary transfer window in MLS doesn’t open until February 10. That window will remain open until May 4, well into the supposed start of the new 2021 season. That means the Galaxy are not restricted to any December 31 timeframe. His loan deal simply expires then. The club can bring Pavon back at any time from now until May. It’s easier if it happens sooner, and the less ambiguity surrounding Pavon’s future, the better. But the Galaxy don’t have their backs against the wall, even if there should be some considerable pressure to return one of the best players in MLS from a crappy 2020 season.

Secondly, the valuations of Pavon have, and will probably remain, all over the board. Te Kloese mentioned looking for some measuring stick — during covid — to determine what the midfielder could be worth on the global market because it’s clear that the $20-million reported as the buyout number for the original isn’t anywhere close to the truth. And nor is the $40-million number that Boca rejected earlier on in his career.

If reports are correct, the Galaxy’s most recent offer was $8-million for 100% of the player’s rights. In the same report, Boca was said to have countered with $10-million with a 20% sell-on clause — valuing Pavon at about $12.5-million. A far cry from both $20 and $40 million, respectively.

In cash terms, the Galaxy and Boca are about $2-million apart. And with Boca ceding 80% of Pavon’s rights, they’re very close to a deal. But Boca is known for being slow, erratic, and frustrating when it comes to negotiations. It’s not one person the Galaxy have to convince. There is an entire board that makes the final decisions on players.

Minnesota United Acquired Emanuel Reynoso from Boca in September. But that deal took most of the year to get done (eight months) and made for some exciting rumors along the way. Much like Pavon, Reynoso’s journey to MLS wasn’t easy or in a straight line.

Boca may still want this deal to go through, however. Much like the Galaxy are struggling financially, they’re in the same boat, which may have started before Covid. And with Pavon scheduled to be one of the highest-paid players on their squad when he returns, cutting that check may bring them back to the table and ready to offload him.

After all, they could pocket $10-million almost immediately. And that always helps pays the bills.

The unknown quantity in all of this is whether another team could want Pavon and swoop in to steal him during any other winter transfer window. And that possibility may become a reality when the exclusivity of the deal lapses in the new year. But to date, we’ve seen very little that would make us believe that.

The Galaxy and te Kloese are well aware this will be a slow and drawn-out process. Even reports that they’re walking away should be framed in the “always a negotiation” mindset.

And in the end, if the Galaxy don’t get their man, they’ll have that same money available to land another Designated Player. But if we’re honest, the Galaxy probably need this victory. 2020 provided too few of those and te Kloese would gladly hang his hat on the successful completion of this deal.