The deal to acquire Cyprus forward Marinos Tzionis appears to be getting closer. The latest reports confirmed he was held out of the team’s most recent game and includes a rumored transfer fee and salary. If you aren’t familiar with Sporting Kansas City being interested in Tzionis, The Blue Testament have done a few stories on him, which I would recommend as a good jumping off point. We have highlights, stats and more:
The new report from Alpha News has Tzionis missing Omonia’s most recent match to “run the arrangements and procedures to make the transatlantic trip.” The rumored transfer fee is said to be between €1.5 and €2 million. In US dollars, that’s between $1.69 and $2.26 million. Additionally, it says the Cyprus club will retain a 10 percent sell on fee in the event Kansas City sell Marinos again.
Another detail that we will get confirmation on eventually (assuming this rumor is true) is the players salary. The story says he’s set to be paid €300,000 plus bonuses. That is $338,880 in US dollars. That’s well under the $612,500 max for a U-22 Initiative signing.
In the past, a deal like this would have made a player receiving a fee this high a Designated Player. However, MLS has altered their rules starting in 2021 to allow teams to sign up to three players (or for some teams, just one) with unlimited transfer fees as long as players meet a few conditions (age, salary, etc. — more on the U-22 Initiative here). This is in addition to DPs.
Assuming Tzionis joins Sporting, this would be the mechanism he’s signed under (though the team has said it’ll confirm roster designations by the roster compliance date). It’s likely prior signings Logan Ndenbe and Robert Voloder are in the same situation. It’s a really aggressive move from Kansas City, as presumably they’ve paid transfer fees for all three players, all of which who are likely to be depth and not starters (though their practice and play will ultimately determine that).
There was some thought that Tzionis may not leave AC Omonia right away because the Cyta Championship has a unique format. The 12 team league is divided in half, with the top six teams playing for the title. The cut off for that split is in the coming weeks and Omonia are just above the red line in sixth place.
Him leaving now makes the most sense for KC. It’s a big fee and Peter Vermes is big on players getting preseason to integrate with the club. It seems more likely that should happen soon, especially with the team’s lack of forward depth after Alan Pulido’s injury.
The Blue Testament will bring you more on this when everything is official.