This post has been updated.
The Chicago Fire have acknowledged that they need reinforcements. That reality has been a major driver behind the Fernando Torres rumors and the club’s focus on getting this deal over the finish line.
Case in point: Fire president Nelson Rodriguez is leading a delegation from the club to Spain to meet with Torres and his representatives.
Per Jeff Carlisle at ESPN, Rodriguez is scheduled to sit down with Torres’ people tomorrow in Madrid. While a few other MLS teams are interested in signing Torres— the Montreal Impact, the Houston Dynamo, and Sporting Kansas City— Chicago holds his Discovery Rights, giving them right of first refusal. Those rights also ensure some compensation should a deal not happen.
The same report says Torres would prefer to go to a warmer city, which theoretically would give Houston a slight edge. (Buddy, our summers are hot, don’t you worry.)
Carlisle also reported that MLS rules forbid any other MLS team from talking to Torres until Chicago negotiations run their course. He also reports that that did not stop Montreal from doing just that.
So there are other MLS teams potentially in the mix, and given the Fire’s previous experiences with Jermaine Jones and Didier Drogba there’s every indication that league rules will not necessarily protect the club’s interests. Torres is also apparently still considering China as an option once his contract with Atletico Madrid expires. In other words: despite the Fire’s push to make this happen, there are still plenty of ways this could go wrong.
To say nothing of whether signing Torres is a good idea in the first place.
UPDATED 5/8/18 12:08pm: That’ll teach me to log off for the night when a transfer story is brewing. Carlisle reported last night that no talks are happening today Rodriguez is, in fact, still in the US.