By Brian Maurer
Karol Świderski (Photo courtesy of Cisco's art)
Sources confirmed that Charlotte FC is reportedly putting in an offer for Iván Jaime from Famalicão. According to A BOLA,The initial bid is around $7.75 million. The size of this transfer fee limits the different options Charlotte FC has to fit him on their roster.
Currently, three players are considered Designated Players on Charlotte FC's roster (Enzo Copetti, Kamil Jozwiak, and Karol Swiderski), and two players are considered U22 initiative (Kerwin Vargas and Vinicius Mello), making it difficult to simply buy Iván Jaime and stay compliant with MLS roster rules. Below, we detail the various options Charlotte FC could use to add him to the roster.
Option 1: Charlotte FC sells one of their three Designated Players (DPs) and then adds Jaime as a Young Designated Player (YDP).
This option would mean Charlotte FC could earn some additional allocation money from the transfer fee of the DP sale. They would also open up two more U22 Initiative roster spots. Kerwin Vargas fills Charlotte FC's current U22 Initiative spot. These spots can pay huge dividends. For example, LAFC signed José Cifuentes to a U22 Initiative contract in 2020 and is now selling him to the Rangers this summer.
Cifuentes has 14 goals and 16 assists in his three-and-a-half seasons with LAFC and was an important player in the team's success last season when LAFC won both the MLS Cup and the Supporters' Shield.
If Charlotte FC use this option to sign Jaime they could try and land another U22 Initiative signing this window or during the winter.
Option 2: Charlotte FC briefly puts him at Crown Legacy FC as they adjust their roster so he fits on their senior team heading into 2024.
This option could be tricky and is less ideal. Jaime is both a win-now and in-the-future type move. Placing him with the development team removes the opportunity for him to try and help the club finish out its 2023 season on a high note.
Option 3: Charlotte FC looks to use allocation money to buy down Jozwiak's contract. Allocation Money can be used to 'buy-down' a player's Salary Budget Charge as part of managing a club's roster, including buying down a Salary Budget Charge below the League maximum of $612,500. For example, a club may buy down a player earning $700,000 to a Salary Budget Charge of $500,000 by using $200,000 of General Allocation Money. However, the specifics of Kamil Jozwiak's deal are not public information, so it is difficult to tell whether this is a realistic option or not.
Charlotte FC needs to make changes to comply with MLS roster rules if they are serious about pursuing this high-level prospect.
*Please note there could be other methods that teams have to keep their rosters compliant that we are not privy to. The options above are the three most likely based on the current roster rules.