A report from Fernando Cevallos with Fox Sports MX about Alan Pulido wanting to return to Chivas initiated a lot of worries, hope, and various hot takes amongst fans. Pulido is under contract with Sporting Kansas City through the end of the 2023 season but the Mexican International striker did not play at all in 2022 while recovering from knee surgery.
El deseo de Alan Pulido es volver a Chivas, donde fue campeón de Liga Mx, Copa, Concachampions y campeón de goleo… A un año de terminar su contrato aún NO ha renovado por lo que #SportingKC tendría que negociarlo porque sino la proxima temporada podría salir gratis @FOXSportsMX— Fernando Cevallos (@FerCevallosF) September 23, 2022
This is the google translation of the tweet:
“Alan Pulido’s wish is to return to Chivas, where he was champion of the Mx League, Cup, Concachampions and scoring champion... One year after the end of his contract he has not yet renewed, so #SportingKC would have to negotiate it because otherwise, the next season could get out free.”
The tweet was also the basis for a Fox Sports article that said the same as the tweet.
Add this to the tweet from Matt Doyle a few days ago and a lot of fans are speculating on getting rid of Pulido and now hoping that he will want to leave.
Pulido's played 33 games and scored 14 goals in 3 years. I think KC's got to consider a buyout to open up the DP slot and try to use it on an elite CB, and then try to find a cheap back-up for Willy from within the league.https://t.co/D88gRmooW3— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) September 18, 2022
It is understandable that some fans are hoping to get rid of Pulido’s contract. He eats up a DP spot and has a base salary of $2.2 million with a cap hit (Salary Budget Charge) of $612,500 in 2022.
With the idea of a buyout of Pulido’s contract floated out there, the news that he wants to go back to Chivas seems like he could leave soon and be a lifeline for Peter Vermes to offload his salary early. But is it?
Translations are not perfect
Translations are not perfect and it is easy to read too much into them at times.
I do not claim to be fluent in Spanish no matter how much my Duolingo app attempts to flatter me, but I have seen this same scenario play out with other players before. A few years ago Johnny Russell was linked to Celtic because of an interview. Russell was asked about missing home and admitting he was homesick at times. It was used in another report to link him to Celtic and rumors exploded on social.
Spoiler alert.... Russell did not go to Scotland, he is still in Kansas City and is currently Sporting Kansas City’s captain.
Back to the translation of the tweet and the article. One way I translated it said he was one year after his contract. Obviously, this does not make sense. The other way I translate it does say he has one year on his contract and could leave for free when it is over, which is totally accurate.
Now, this could be Pulido or his agent putting it into the universe and hoping it brings him something. The simpler answer is someone asked him if he would come back to Chivas where he had success and Pulido said he would like to return. It would be insane for Pulido to reply with no thanks. He is far too smart to possibly anger a team that might want him if he does not sign a new contract with Kansas City. Players get asked all the time about old teams and most of them are smart enough to not rule out a possible employer.
The fact that Sporting Kansas City has not signed him to a new contract is no indication of whether he will stay. With a year left on his contract and having missed all of 2022 and quite a few other games, it would be insanity for Sporting KC to re-sign him now.
SKC needs to see him in the preseason. see him play some games and have serious talks with the medical staff before even remotely entertaining offering him a new contract. Pulido needs to prove his worth and health before that becomes a reality.
Even if Pulido wants to go, Chivas would have to want him and Sporting KC would have to believe it is in their best interest for it to happen before his contract is up.
Could it happen? Yes.
Probable? Maybe... but maybe not seems most likely.