Report: Melbourne may take on NYC FC “guest” player prior to MLS debut

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

New York City FC officials have stated their desire to sign players as early as this summer.

The question then becomes how to keep their investments in game-form while awaiting the 2015 MLS season?

The Australian may have some answers. According to the report, Melbourne Hearts (Manchester City’s other satellite club) may take on a foreign “guest player” to Melbourne; an individual who would likely be a “marquee player” under the New York City FC umbrella.

What is a guest player? The A-League allows individuals to sign on with teams on short term deals that can be as quick as a four week stint. Their involvement includes no solid commitment to their assigned club. The idea, of course, is an attempt by the A-League to lure star players to the far-off Island and test the waters Down Under.

It is a rule Manchester City ownership intend to exploit. According to the report, the yet-to-be-determined talent could come with a price tag upwards of $1 million, making him a Designated Player within the confines of MLS. With Melbourne already in place, and coming off of a disappointing campaign, any reinforcements would be met with little resistance from the Australian club.

For NYC FC, the arrangement makes perfect sense. The A-League begins play in October, a month later than most European competitions. A six-week stay could keep their investment in-form long enough to join MLS by January — just in time for the 2015 preseason.

At face value, this is yet another example of how Manchester City intends on using their extensive infrastructure to feed their satellite clubs. City CEO Ferran Soriano has previously discussed the usage of City’s vast, worldwide scouting operations to snag quality players at competitive prices for their MLS team. Coach Jason Kreis has also previously revealed the ability to transfer up to four Manchester Youth Academy players for the fledgling side.

With Melbourne, Manchester City finds a place holder for their much anticipated MLS franchise, allowing the organization to play aggressively in the summer transfer window while giving players the unique opportunity to ply their trade in two of the world’s most intriguing stages.