The Vancouver Whitecaps acquired defender Jose Aja in a trade with Orlando City on Saturday.
Orlando will acquire $125,000 in targeted allocation money in the deal, which could be a precursor to the Whitecaps preparing to lose center-back Tim Parker.
Sources have confirmed to ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle that Parker has requested a trade after talks over a new contract broke down this winter, and another source said on Saturday that the Aja deal was going to be done whether Parker stays or goes.
Parker, 24, made $99,600 in guaranteed compensation last season but MLSsoccer.com reported that he is seeking a raise to more than $500,000 after excelling in 32 starts for Vancouver.
The acquisition of Aja, 24, would help fill out Vancouver’s back line if Parker is not available when the season begins next week.
Orlando will receive an additional $100,000 in TAM if Aja remains in Vancouver next season and a second-round draft pick if he is still there in 2020, all while retaining part of his rights for a potential future transfer outside of MLS.
The 6-foot-4 Aja started 15 games for Orlando last season, his second year in MLS after moving from Nacional in his native Uruguay.
“Jose is a player who I first identified while scouting Cristian Techera in Uruguay three years ago,” Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said. “He’s a big lad who is very comfortable on the ball. He will add another dimension to the group and complement our backline well, and he understands the league now after playing in MLS for 18 months.”
The move also comes two days after Vancouver signed free agent right-back Sean Franklin to a one-year deal.
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