The Fire will receive $400,000 in GAM in 2021, $400,000 in GAM in 2022, and up to $200,000 more in future GAM if Mihailović meets certain performance-based metrics with the Impact. That figure is just shy of the $1.05 million in GAM the Columbus Crew gave up to get Darlington Nagbe last season.
If Mihailovic is ever sold to a club outside MLS, the Fire will retain 10 percent of the sale. A source tells Hot Time that despite numerous rumors about interest from European clubs, this is the first official offer the Fire have received for the Homegrown attacker.
Mihailovic was entering the final year of his contract with Chicago. When the decision was made not to bring him back next season, the two sides worked swiftly to find a landing spot that worked for both the player and the club. It’s clear the Fire didn’t want to risk losing him on a free transfer after the 2021 season.
“Djordje has represented the Fire for nearly a decade and was the first Academy player to break into the first team and consistently make an impact,” Fire Sporting Director Georg Heitz said in a statement. “While this was certainly a difficult decision, Djordje was entering the final year of his contract and was ready for a new challenge. Throughout this entire process, we have worked with him and his team to find a solution that would be beneficial for the player and the Club. We are appreciative of all that he has given to the Fire over the last seven years and wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
Djordje gets a fresh start under Montreal head coach Thierry Henry, and reportedly a massive pay increase.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the fans and the Chicago Fire Football Club for the support you have given me,” Mihailović said in a statement released by the team. “It has truly been a privilege to play for you. I wish everyone in Chicago continued success.”
The move gives the Fire a ton of financial flexibility now. With the dominance of star No. 10s like Lucas Zelarayan of the Crew, the Fire may be looking for a high caliber player to play in behind star striker Robert Beric next season.
Even though the move seems to be a positive for all parties, it’s still sad to see a Homegrown star player leave the club for another MLS team. We looked at what led up to the trade—including Mihailovic’s benching at the MLS is Back tournament—in a piece posted yesterday.
What do you think? Did the Fire get this right? Let us know in the comments.