McClean turned down Red Bulls’ DP offer to join West Brom

The cash-conscious New York Red Bulls were looking to make a big splash for Premier League midfielder James McClean.

The Irish winger recently signed with West Brom of the English Premier League, but he tells the Daily Mail that he traveled to the United States to speak to the Red Bulls, ultimately rejecting a “very attractive contract” to further pursue his career in the Premier League.

That news dovetails with information from league sources telling EoS the New York Red Bulls were ready to offer McClean a Designated Player contract.

McLean signed with The Baggies for £1.5m a season ($2.3 million); a respectable Premier League wage but certainly an eye-popping number in terms of MLS players. The Red Bulls currently do not have any player on their roster making seven figures, with Bradley Wright-Phillips being the club’s top earner at $660k. With a comparable salary to West Brom’s offer, McClean would instantly become New York’s highest paid player — by a long shot.

But why McClean? Simply put, the new Red Bulls’ regime have a different standard for spending Designated Player money. While big names at the twilight of their career were the norm for the organization since the DP rule came into effect, the current regime is focusing their potential spending on young, talented players — not necessarily world stars.

McClean certainly fits that bill. The 26-year-old is going into his sixth Premier League season, starring for Sunderland, Wigan and now, West Brom. He has also been a fixture for the Republic of Ireland since 2012, appearing in 27 matches for the team.


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  • send over the RFP

    would have signed for the cosmos, aka the most famous soccer team in the world

  • Larry’s left arm is a simpleton

    Who needs young talent that will be around for the long term when you can sign aging Europeans who never actually see the field???

    Look at the great job Lampard has done so far!

    NYCFC is the future of US Soccer!

    We’ve got Grabavoy!

    We’ve got Brovsky!

    We’ve got hipster fans!

    We’re cranking up the 90s techno music and partying on River Avenue!

    NYCFC! An ORIGINAL team!

  • send over the RFP

    cosmos whole fame is built around signing old stars, both the original club and now the copy cat club

  • Larry’s left arm is a simpleton

    You are right!

    That’s why NYCFC is the greatest team in the world!

    Move over, Barca!

    We’ve got Poku and Nemec!

    Did you see Pirlo’s facial hair? He’s the Marcello Mastroeni of MLS!

    We are the team to beat, the future of MLS and a symbol of the Don’s love for the masses!

    God Bless Don Garber!
    God bless MLS!
    God Bless Moby!
    God bless Frank Lampard’s meat pies!

    NY is powder Blue!

  • send over the RFP

    you’re building a statue of liberty sized strawman

  • Bushwick Bill

    Let’s not forget the artistic value of the team playing at a Glorious stadium in the South Bronx. The dichotomy between the stadium and the neighborhood is reminiscent of Fritz Lange’s classic “Metropolis.” This gives the whole game day experience a post-punk pseudo-industrial vibe. The only thing that would improve the experience would be if they played some old 9 inch nails or Cradle of Filth during the games while serving foie gras to further illustrate that dichotomy. Are you guys with me on this?

  • Andrew

    He’s no norn iron

  • send over the RFP

    no hipster would ever suggest NIN or Cradle of Filth, would be William Basinski or Kraftwerk.

  • chepe

    Johan Cruyff joined the cosmos at 29 yes old… Neeskens at 28 yrs …. Beckenbauer at 30 … Tuart 26 …and so on….old ? Maybe just Pele at 35 …anyways , this guy did the right thing. When I look at both red bull and man city USA roster salary .. Its ashamed how low they pay and on talent who are Not at the same level as the others . the cosmos are the most famous american team, like it or not they are.

  • slowleftarm

    How do you define fame? Most soccer fans in NYC area don’t pay any attention to minor league Cosmos. All the guys you mentioned signed forty years ago, no one cares about that today.

  • send over the RFP

    furthermore the team from 40 years ago isn’t even the same one that exists today

  • mickey f

    cosmos yeah right. they only sign 40yr old Spanish players and 35+ yr old MLS retirees! gotta keep the huge crowd up to 3K in long island on that turf lacrosse field with such top world stars!

  • Larry’s A Simpleton

    I love watching f.cosmos fanboys get all bent out of shape. reality is a bitch and so are the f.cosmos fanboys! boo hoo hoo

  • Larry’s A Simpleton

    an the f.cosmos have nothing except a trail of tears from their retarded fan base…….all 3000 of them. boo hoo hooo

  • Samir

    you guys are all so angry

  • slowleftarm

    Nah we’re all fans and banter is what fans do.

  • Bushwick Bill

    That’s foor old school Park Slope hipsters!

    I’m from Bushwick!

    I’m a REAL New Yorker!

    I’ve been here 15 months!

    I know hip!

  • larry’a slow left arm is a simpleyon

    I had more people than that at my last NYCFC naked rave!

    Pirlo, baby!

    He looks like Jesus!

    He is Jesus!


  • larry’a slow left arm is a simpleyon

    Speaking of “Bent Out of Shape, ” let’s play NYCFC Naked Twister!

  • The Mets Of MLS

    Says alot about the reputation of Red Bull…….

  • Samir

    BTW Drogba is coming for sure….but not to RB!! Chicago or Montreal. Please dont tell me that somehow he is too old for this lame league and that somehow dipsht RB was smart not to pursue him.

  • slowleftarm

    How so? He stayed in the Premier League and is probably making more than he was offered at RBNY. Seems more likely those are the reasons for his decision than the “reputation” of Red Bull.

  • slowleftarm

    I didn’t have much interest in Drogba. He can still be effective for a while in MLS but I’d prefer to see younger DPs come in. Of course, that would mean RBNY ending cheapout mode so it won’t happen.

  • ???

    Cash conscious??? Cheap out mode???? Wow the management throws money at a young player. Yet these phrases continue to be mentioned. The idea that this is the cheap team should have evaporated a long time ago. It takes a lot for management to bring in stars and MLS always gets in the way. Let’s see where Drogba lands when Chicago is in talks but mls is trying to push him to another team. Destructive MLS management, there is a headline phrase that should not leave the journalistic pen. Every week they prove it!

  • Anonymous

    660,000 = 6-figures… I think your meant 7-figures.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I would argue that the LA Galaxy are more famous today than the NY Cosmos…

  • Anonymous

    If they were willing to pay significantly higher than 2.3 million a year, I doubt he would have signed with West Brom. Like it or not, for MLS to attract YOUNG talent, they’re going to have to pay a huge premium over what Europeans teams are offering. Most young talent are looking to play on the highest level and develop a name for themselves. Although things are slowly changing, the perception is largely still that MLS is a place for careers to die.

    I won’t go so far as to say that RBNY is being completely cheap. It’s a big risk to offer a young player without at least brand recognition such a huge contract. But I will say that if they really do want to build a young team and get young quality DP’s, they’re going to have to open their wallets much more than they’ve shown themselves to be willing to do until now.

  • Larry’s A Simpleton

    what do you expect. when your Red Bull 3 behind such power houses as RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig (AN EFFIN SECOND DIVISION TEAM) you arent getting money to spend even on crap that goes to a crap team like west broom

  • DOH!

  • Anonymous

    It happens to the best of us. :P

  • iHeartNYC(fc)

    Sucks for the Red Bulls. Hopefully they find a good young player that’s willing to make the move to MLS. Giovinco and Dos Santos are giving more credibility to MLS as a viable option for younger players, but I think we’ve still a ways yet to shake the retirement league image.

  • The Realist

    And…despite that, RBNY has a better record than NYCFC. Imagine that.

  • Anonymous

    To be fair, the Red Bulls have had far more time to build a cohesive team and develop teamwork as a unit. I think NYCFC will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in a few years once they find a solid direction and get their players used to the system.

  • The Realist

    If they keep building a team around very old Europeans who never play (Fat frank), marginal MLS players (Brovsky! Grabavoy!) and guys who barely cut it in the NASL (Poku), they’ll never be a force

  • Anonymous

    To be fair, Lampard is still good enough to be one of the better players in the MLS (which admittedly says more about the current state of MLS than Lampard himself). And for a new team, it’s important to have big names to build the brand, attract fans, and to create excitement. I’m sure future DP signings will be less about marketing. Having said that, I don’t think you can doubt that David Villa was a great signing as a DP and it’s pretty clear that Pirlo, coming off a great season at Juventus, is still head and shoulders above most of the MLS.

    The problem, I think, isn’t so much the focus on bringing in older European big names as it is on having a clear vision for the team and finding players that fit that vision. Even among older European players, there’s plenty that still have a lot of life in them. It’s really about going out and finding the right ones to match the team’s style.

    Personally, I don’t mind Lampard and I don’t mind Pirlo. But I question having both of them on the same team when there seems to be so much overlap in their skill sets. I think many people are in a similar boat. Time will ultimately tell. Besides, it’s not as if we’ll have either of them for long.

  • Anonymous

    As for Brovsky, Grabavoy, and Poku, they’re a new team and you have to start somewhere. I think it’s important to remember that this is still the team’s first season. Despite all of the Manchester City Lite accusations, it’s not as if they could create an MLS team and fly in a whole host of new, superior, players (although I don’t doubt that they would if they could). The core of the team had to be built largely around talent that already existed in the league and unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of good talent that all of the other teams were willing to part with. I don’t think NYCFC did a horrible job with their picks, but it’s pretty clear that they weren’t ideal (and I would argue that there’s no way they could have been).

  • Hydrahamster

    Here is a good example:

    When a talented youth joins a league, they want to join a club that will increase their value and quality. Meaning, the better the player get, the higher they are paid. In MLS, a talent young player may get paid in the millions, but the player’s value in top leagues go down because of the bad name MLS made of itself. Furthermore, the talented Americans in MLS do not get paid as much as a young foreign star who is already famous before joining the league. Instead of player value going up by performance, it’s by age and/or fame in MLS.

  • Hydrahamster

    That’s sad. The NYCFC have been apart of MLS since mid-March of this year while the Metrostars/RedBulls been apart of MLS since two decades.

  • Hydrahamster

    It’s normal. Not every player you want is going to be wowed by flashy money. Every club goes through this. Just move on and try and find another player until you finally bag one.

  • West Brom 1:0 Ali Curtis

    Curtis may have written the book on MLS player movement, but he hasnt shown any success with global soccer acquisition. :-(

  • Anonymous

    Cruyff never officially joined the Cosmos and he signed for the Aztecs at 32.

  • Anonymous

    2.3 million to be a starter in the EPL or, most likely less to play in MLS. Not really much of a choice.

  • slowleftarm

    Make no sense – Bradley, Dempsey and Alitdore are all among the highest paid players in MLS.

    Cheapout mode is more than appropriate when this team, which fancies itself a NYC area team, has the lowest payroll in MLS. Totally unacceptable.

  • slowleftarm

    Where does it say RBNY offered him “flashy money”? We don’t know what he was offered. Obviously it wasn’t enough.

  • Hydrahamster

    NYRB would most likely pay him in the upper hundred -thousand range to lower million dollar range.

  • Hydrahamster

    Because now another bad image is starting to show. MLS is not only targeting aging foreign famous talent, they are also going after young (also famous) talent that is struggling with form and getting playing time overseas. Either way, those players are getting paid more than what they would in Europe.

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