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Alejandro “Kaku” Gamarra attracting transfer attention from Mexico, Argentina, other MLS clubs

Mercurial attacking midfielder appears to be on the way out after three seasons in New York

New York Red Bulls v D.C. United Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The window has yet to open, but the transfer season has blown in with the force de un huracán.

ESPN Digital reports that New York Red Bulls attacking midfielder Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra “is in the orbit of the Xolos for the next season.” The club – formally known as Club Tijuana – “started talks” with the player’s representative. He is also “currently wanted by some Arab and Argentine teams.”

According to Argentine outlet El Crack Deportivo, local domestic giants Boca Juniors and River Plate “have an interest” in Kaku, a Buenos Aires native. “Several clubs” in the Argentine Primera División may pursue his signature, but those two previously scouted him during his time with Huracán. However, the report concedes that the intended destination is Liga MX, presumably with the aforementioned Xolos.

These transfer rumors come on the heels of a report from another Argentine outlet, TyC Sports, alleging friction between Kaku and the Red Bulls. Although the club exercised his contract option, he reportedly “was not duly notified [about] the extension of his relationship.” It’s possible his management presumably believed and was negotiating as if the 25-year-old would be a free agent during the upcoming January window.

Additional rumors indicated that Kaku could remain in Major League Soccer even if transferred out of New York. Once A Metro sources have indicated that multiple MLS teams are interested in a trade for the Paraguay international, with one Eastern Conference team among those in the mix.

Following a lengthy transfer process in early 2018, Kaku joined the Red Bulls from Huracán on a designated player contract for a $6.25 million transfer fee. In three seasons with New York, he has scored 14 goals and contributed 21 assists across all competitions. His most productive spell was in the first half of 2018 before the departure of manager Jesse Marsch, who had played a hands-on role in his complex recruitment.

Prior to the 2019 season a minor crisis ensued as Kaku was linked to Club América. Negotiations reportedly were intense, with the clubs unable to come to a compromise over a transfer fee. He admitted the interest was “a distraction” and later apologized to the coaching staff and front office.

With a new manager and a tactical refresh, the upcoming transfer window would be the opportune time to turn the page on the Kaku era. He’s made a few casual comments in interviews over the past year from which one could infer a desire to move on to a new challenge. However, the Red Bulls were never going to let him go on a free transfer. Even if the club does not receive the $12 million fee they asked for him last year, some return should be expected.

The rumor mill is back and churning with great intensity. While the destination may not end up being Xolos, Kaku will likely be leaving the Red Bulls. The transfer market has yet to open, but the winds of change have begun to blow.