Philadelphia Union place Zlatan Ibrahimovic on discovery list


With rumours reporting that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could join MLS, the Philadelphia Union have outsmarted every other team.

While Zlatan Ibrahimovic is looking for a new club, the Philadelphia Union thought they should toss their hat in the ring for the Swedish great.

According to ESPN, the Union have put Ibra on their discovery list, and have done so because they could be paid for just having him on the list. If MLS forks up enough money to bring in Ibra to the league, the Union will be owed $50,000 by any team able to sign him.

The league rule book states that:

"To sign a player through the Discovery Process, the club must first place the player on its Discovery List.  A club may have up to seven unsigned players on its Discovery List at any time and may remove or add players at any time. There is no limit to how many players a club can sign from its Discovery List"

Players that are not allowed on the list are: players that played in MLS before, players on another teams allocation ranking list, and players to whom another club has Right of First Refusal — to name a few.

The idea of putting a player on a discovery list is to show that a certain MLS team has plans of bringing that player to their team. When D.C United put current Orlando City SC midfielder Antonio Nocerino on their discovery list before the season, a problem ensued. The club put the Italian on their list before Orlando could have, but the Florida club swooped in and talked him into coming to their club instead.

This led to Orlando being forced to make a trade or offer a form of payment to United and then signed the Italian. The same could happen with the Union, and head coach Jim Curtain said this move was ‘strategic’.

“You look at different things and different mechanisms that our league has, different unique ways that players come into our league — [there are] ways you can be rewarded if you’re a little bit out in front of things.”

The idea of Ibrahimovic coming to the Union is very unlikely, considering top teams in Europe are looking to sign the 34-year-old, but this idea of knowing how the league works and trying to out smart the other teams goes to show that the Union are above the curve in MLS.

For more MLS coverage, visit our MLS hub page for more.