Sami Khedira off NYCFC’s radar but Vieira hopes to add 3rd DP


by Christian Araos

Sami Khedira will not be New York City FC’s third Designated Player — though the team are working to start the season with three DPs, head coach Patrick Vieira said Thursday.

“There is nothing I can say because he is not one of the players that we are targeting,” Vieira said when asked about reports linking the club with Khedira. “He is playing at one of the biggest clubs in the world and he doesn’t have any intention yet to come to the MLS.”

Multiple reports from Italy stated that Andrea Pirlo had taken a leading role in trying to convince Khedira to leave Juventus during the January transfer window, with Khedira being receptive to the idea though. Khedira is set to remain an active part in Juventus’ efforts in securing another Serie A title and in making a possible run in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League.

Khedira would have joined MLS months shy of his 30th birthday having already won the Bundesliga with Stuttgart, Serie A with Juventus, La Liga and the Champions League with Real Madrid and the World Cup with Germany. Despite his injury problems, the resume would have matched NYCFC’s first three DPs.

Although Khedira won’t be joining NYCFC at this time, whoever the third DP is will likely have a profile just like his.

“We’re just looking for players who will make a difference and players who can make us win games,” Vieira said. “We had a really good season last year so the quality of the player that we want is difficult to find but we have a few options on the table and hopefully we will sign one of them as soon as possible.”

Vieira said he hopes that whoever the club signs would raise the club to ‘another level’. The club are working to add that third player before the season starts in March. Besides gauging Khedira’s interest, City were also reportedly pursuing Club América midfielder Darwin Quintero. They along with Atlanta United FC and the San Jose Earthquakes were pursuing a multi-million dollar deal but the Earthquakes ended their interest, according to ESPN FC. Today, Mexican outlet Récord reports that Quintero will stay put at América.

“We are trying to bring a player in as soon as possible,” Vieira said. “We’re having conversations with some clubs and some players and hopefully, we can finalize it as soon as possible.”

“We’re trying to improve our roster and hopefully we will in the next few days we can communicate a few names but at the moment it’s too early.”

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