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Jermaine Jones reportedly turns down latest offer from Chicago Fire

Aug 2, 2014, 5:11 PM EDT

Jermaine Jones AP

Jermaine Jones definitely wants to come to North America, but part of that is the potential to cash in, a la Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley. While Jones doesn’t see himself in that category, make no mistake about it: The long-time Schalke mainstay isn’t moving to Major League Soccer for purely patriotic reasons. He wants to be one of the handful of players that make European money playing in the U.S.’s league.

Unfortunately for the American international, nobody’s willing to step up to the plate, with Frank Yallop and the Chicago Fire coming closest to meeting the 32-year-old’s demands. According to one outlet’s reports, however, close hasn’t won Jones’s heart.

From reporting by Goal USA:

Sources have confirmed to Goal USA that the U.S. World Cup star has rejected a 2.5 year, $6 million guaranteed contract from the Chicago Fire, leaving his club future in doubt, and limiting his options as the summer transfer window enters its final month.

The Chicago Fire laid out a sizeable contract offer that would have made Jones one of the highest-paid players in MLS, but the 32-year-old German-American decided to pass on the deal and wait for other options to emerge. Just where those new options will be remains to be seen.

In the face of the report, Jones took to Twitter to express his appreciation of Chicago’s offer, though he refuted Goal’s details:

In the world of MLS, it’s not surprising to hear sources disagree on the details. Goal may be reporting full compensation. Jones may be thinking of the offer’s base salary, a figure that often doesn’t include likely incentives or commercial considerations. If Goal’s number is correct, it’s probably the high end of the range.

The bottom line: Whatever Chicago’s offering is not enough. Jones’s reference point appears to be Bradley and Dempsey, and while he may not expect $6 million per season, getting less than half may not entice him to jump the pond.

You can see both points of view. Jones may not be in line for a big contract in Germany or Turkey, but there other places that can afford to pay a prominent American from this summer’s World Cup. But from Chicago’s point of view, Jones isn’t the type of player that’s going to get people to drive to Bridgeview. There’s only so much you can invest when a player won’t create that buzz.

The one thing that always creates a buzz is winning, and in that department, there’s no question Jones will help. But will he help enough to make the Fire a draw? Chicago may not want to bet $3 million per season on that notion.

  1. riverschuylkill - Aug 2, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Isn’t this when the league steps up to kick in a little cash if the two sides are close to an agreement? Jones rejecting MLS for a team in the Middle East (as is now rumored) would be pretty terrible.

  2. jdfsquared - Aug 2, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Having attended games at Toyota Park, there’s not a whole lot that can make Bridgeview a prime destination. It’s a real shame, especially considering the support the USMNT received from Chicago during the WC. That stadium is so far from anything that feels like the heart of one of the great American cities. The Fire are literally on the fringes. That city deserves a marquee franchise, and Bridgeview just don’t cut it.

    • thfc54 - Aug 2, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      After watching Tottenham and the Fire, I have to agree. With all due respect, this venue falls far short of where MLS teams need to be playing.

  3. bwana63 - Aug 2, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Total BS that Bridgeview is on the fringes. Yes, it’s not downtown and it’s inconvenient for a lot of people. But fringes? Baloney.

    WRT Jones, was there ever a doubt that the notorious cheapskate owner of the Fire, Hauptman, would be willing to pay him enough? The guy has driven a once proud and successful franchise right into the ground.

  4. bigbrezzy - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    The Fire really need to revamp their franchise. As of right now there are only five players who still performing Larentowicz, shipp, Mcgee ( Although disappointingly) Amarikwa and Sean Johnson. The problem may also lie with the coaching. The Fire should move to Soldier field where they’ll see the attendance improve drastically and go after talented players such as Jermaine Jones.

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