New York Red Bulls have been locked in a legal struggle over the transfer of Alejandro Romero (Kaku) Gamarra. According to ESPN the attacking midfielder has moved on to the Saudi Arabian club Al Taawoun FC but the MLS club is disputing that they still had another year left on his contract.
"The New York Red Bulls exercised a club option in Kaku's Major League Soccer contract for the 2021 season," said the club in a statement on February 2nd. "He remains under contract with Major League Soccer and the New York Red Bulls."
This is a stark contrast to what is being said by the Saudi Arabian club, which has already announced the player's signing on a free transfer and also taken a photoshoot with the player in the team's kit. On top of this, Kaku and his management have pushed that the clause was not exercised and that the MLS Players Union back this move away from the league.
As with any transfer to different countries, an International Transfer Certificate is needed in order to finish off the paperwork. New York is appealing to US Soccer to not administer the certificate, thus negating the move.
"Kaku's option notice was sent by New York Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett on February 28th 2020," said the team.
The major point of contention appears to be whether or not the proper people were informed of this move. Kaku's representation says that is was not and they proceeded as if the player was free to move on. Al Taawoun contends that everything they did was above board, considering the situation. In the meantime, Kaku has begun quarantine procedures in order to take the field for his new club.
More than likely, Kaku will not return to Major League Soccer. However, New York will be interested in dealing with the lack of revenue from a transfer as the player has moved on despite the confusion.