Gustavo Casasola of Casasola Sport Lawyers recently made comments in ESPN Mexico are critical of Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls and how they are handling the ongoing transfer negotiations of his client Alejandro “Kaku” Gamarra.
Gamarra who arrived at Red Bulls last February from Argentine club Athletico Huracan for club record $6.25 million, is being linked to Club America of Liga Mx. Gamarra has expressed his displeasure with how his current team is handling transfer negotiations saying on ESPN Digital, “We came in a good way carrying a higher offer than the one they paid for me ($4.4 million). We want them to earn money and recover what they invested so that we are all happy, but I think the price is not reasonable.” Gamarra continues to express his desire to play for the historic Mexican club, but Red Bulls Management has made it clear they won’t part ways with the 24 year old attacking mid-fielder until the right price is brought to the table.
The Red Bull’s have slapped a $12 million price tag on Gamarra, who they describe as an indispensable component to their team. Casasola fired back asking why his client’s current salary does not reflect the high valuation: “He has a bad salary compared to his quality. It is a good salary, compared to any person, but if they tell me that it is in its price at the level of Josef Martínez, it earns five times less than Josef. I do not understand. The player’s career is very short and the player’s time is six or seven years. This contract improves the life of the family.” Gamarra’s current salary is the third highest on the team at $709,090 per year for three years, but as Casasola points out, if he is compared to one of MLS’s most exciting players Josef Martize ($1.2 million base with $ 1.39 million in incentives) he should have wages that reflect that.
Global Head of Soccer for Red Bulls, Oliver Mintzlaff has been criticized by the agent for what he finds to be personal issues: “It’s clear to see he must have somewhat of a problem to talk to me. Wherever he wants to speak, I’ll speak to him. Wherever he wants. I speak English, French, Spanish, Latin, and Greek. I’ll speak to him wherever he wants, whenever he wants. Him and I. Face to face.” Continuing that after Casasola worked out the price with Club America, NYRB responded that all transfers must be approved through Germany. In 2006, the club was purchased by Red bull Gmbh and re-branded as part of the company’s global network of football clubs, leading to the team’s current name.
While Gamarra is thankful for his opportunity at NYRB, he expressed that his dream is to play for the historic Club America and have family be able to attend matches. Casasola takes it a step farther saying his client deserves to play for a team that values him and that he was disrespected from the first day with NYRB: “They should have paid for his Uber when he arrived the other day with his family. He couldn’t order it because the system in Argentina does not allow him to order one here. They have mistreated us horribly. They haven’t even treated us to a coffee for bringing over a player of this caliber.”
The Gamarra transfer saga has extended past the negotiation table through the use of journalists, Is Casasola trying to shape the market to favor his client? Certainly. However, his ultimately goal is to get the deal done for his client. Not very unlike the Free Agent negotiations between Manny Machado and the Chicago White Sox, just with the roles reversed. With the MLS transfer Window opening February 14 it will be interesting to see how negotiations shape out, and if Casasola’s scathing comments help or hurt his client’s goal of getting to Club America.