With the acquisition of Real Madrid legend Raul becoming a bit more complicated, the New York Cosmos may have their eyes set on another powerful striker.
Radio Marca Malaga — an on-air affiliate of Spanish national sports newspaper Marca — report the Cosmos have interest in Malaga striker Roque Santa Cruz.
The soon-to-be 33-year-old Santa Cruz signed with Malaga on July 2013 after a loan stint from mother club, Manchester City. His contract reportedly runs through 2016, meaning the Cosmos would have to pay a transfer fee if they hope to secure his services.
According to Radio Marca, the team is prepared to shell out just over two millions dollars to Malaga for the strikers services, while offering Santa Cruz nearly $2.7 million in annual wages to man their frontline.
EOS was unable to receive confirmation of the story at the time of this report.
The Paraguayan striker would certainly fill a need for New York. The club is clearly unhappy with the return on their investment in Norwegian striker Mads Stokkelien, who has fallen well short of his promise as the team’s primary target forward (15 appearances, three goals, two assists). Head Coach Giovanni Savarese was vocal about his disappointment last week, even going so far as to bench the team’s star striker.
Their offense has also been anemic this Fall season, scoring all of five goals through six matches. That is an area where Santa Cruz would become an immediate upgrade.
While that may all be true, it would be more than just a shock if the Paraguayan striker landed in New York. For as anemic as the scoring has been, so has team attendance. That transfer fee and those wages would rival any paid by first division MLS sides, let alone NASL teams.
Further, after a year of operations, the club has managed to put out a respectable on-field product. Team ownership insists on a long-term view in their investment plans. The NASL offers no restrictions on spending. However, investing a hefty amount of money — both up front and for the long term — in an injury-prone player that few will recognize would seem foolhardy.
The Cosmos are much like New York City F.C. — they need an impact signing that will not only score goals, but also put butts in seats.
Santa Cruz may be able to score goals, but visibility — and health — are definitely a concern.
What are your thoughts on the report? Is it agent talk gone wild? Would it be wise for the Cosmos to take on the veteran forward?