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Is FC Augsburg’s Florian Niederlechner on the way to the Chicago Fire?

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There is definitely some interest here, but nothing’s done just yet

1. FC Union Berlin - FC Augsburg
FC Augsburg’s Florian Niederlechner
Photo by Andreas Gora/picture alliance via Getty Images

A report from Sky Sports Germany says the Chicago Fire are interested in acquiring FC Augsburg forward Florian Niederlechner, which Hot Time in Old Town can confirm is accurate.

Fire Sporting Director Sebastian Pelzer told Sky, “We have registered our specific interest with the club - unfortunately Augsburg does not want to let the player go.”

As the report says, the Fire are indeed interested in signing the 31-year-old as a replacement for Robert Berić, but unlike Berić, Hot Time is told Niederlechner would not be on a Designated Player contract. Niederlechner could help take some pressure off of 18-year-old Jhon Durán, who is joining the Fire this month from Envigado in Colombia. Niederlecnher has had success in the past—he was Augsburg’s player of the season in 2019-20. This season, however, the German has just four goals—three in the Bundesliga, and one in the DFB-Pokal.

FC Augsburg’s recent signing of 18-year-old American star Ricardo Pepi from FC Dallas could help the Fire get this deal over the line. If Augsburg feels Pepi can take over for Niederlechner—and the reported $20 million transfer fee would suggest they do—it might mean Augsburg would be willing to part ways with Niederlechner during the January transfer window.

This potential transfer is definitely one to watch this month for the Fire.