Nashville SC transfer window update, revisiting the striker targets

The MLS Secondary Transfer Window opened up on Wednesday, and so far it has been crickets from Nashville SC. No rumors or reports have given eager supporters a clue as to who Mike Jacobs and Gary Smith are targeting to fill Nashville’s open Designated Player slot.

In the absence of news, I felt that it was worth revisiting last month’s article where Ben Wright and I speculated on possible targets for Nashville in the summer window. A few new names have been added to the rundown based on supporters’ opinions and wishlists.

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A lot of movement has happened elsewhere in the transfer market and it is worth catching up on the latest rumors surrounding potential forwards that could be brought to Tennessee.

Adam Buksa (RC Lens)

Buksa remains one to watch. He has begun preseason training with RC Lens. However, light training is not the same as a full-contact participant. The French club will want to recover the bulk of the fee it paid to New England last year. However, if Buksa cannot quickly establish a role for himself, Lens should look to sell or loan this summer. Al Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League has been linked with Buksa, but those rumors have largely dried up since the appointment of Steven Gerrard as manager.


Alberth Elis (Bordeaux)

Elis wrapped his participation in the Gold Cup this week. Even if Honduras had advanced, Elis suffered a broken wrist that would have forced him out for four to eight weeks. With Brest declining their purchase option, Elis returns to Bordeaux which was unable to achieve promotion. There are no rumors as to his next destination, but he will likely be on the move this summer, even as his wrist heals. 

Leonardo Campana (Inter Miami)

Last month, Inter Miami tried to forcefully shut down rumors that they had placed Campana on the trade block. Given Lionel Messi’s demands, it is hard to envision that a Designated Player slot will remain tied up with someone who is not one of Messi’s besties. Campana fits Nashville like a glove, but an outlay of $1.5 – $2.0 million in allocation money can create roster-building headaches if not planned well out in advance. However, with no transfer fee paid by Nashville, Campana would not even occupy a Designated Player slot leaving plenty of roster flexibility elsewhere.

Cyle Larin (Valladolid)

Valladolid exercised their €1.5 million purchase option for Cyle Larin. However, it may be a quick flip. The Spanish side, which has been relegated to the Segunda Division,  is reportedly looking to sell Larin for several million more. Mallorca has been linked with the Canadian in recent weeks, but there is room for another club to jump in.  

Josh Maja (Free Agent)

One Nashville supporter has linked the former Bordeaux man to the Music City. However, the former star of the Sunderland Til I Die series appears to be headed back home to England rather than embark on another foreign adventure.

Juan Dinenno (UNAM Pumas)

In May, Dinenno stated it was “very difficult to guarantee” that he would remain with Pumas. At the time, the speculation centered around Cruz Azul, which has since died down. Dinenno scored for Pumas last week in the opening weekend of the Apertura. While it looks like he is set to stay, the club just completed the signing of Gabriel Fernández which would provide cover were someone to sweep in for Dinenno. Given his age, 28, he has never been a likely target, but he would be a statement signing for any MLS club.

Tobias Lauritsen (Sparta Rotterdam)

Lauritsen arrived at pre-season training this week after receiving an extended break. With no rumors of an exit, there does not appear to be any move afoot for Lauritsen.

Oli McBurnie (Sheffield United)

McBurnie believes he and Sheffield United have “unfinished business” in the Premier League. Rumors had Rangers sniffing around McBurnie as he enters the final season of his contract. However, the Scottish striker appears dead set to have one more go at the Premier League.

Tasos Douvikas (FC Utrecht)

Douvikas, Eredivise’s Golden Boot winner, has been heavily linked over the last month with an €8 million move to Rangers. That is within Nashville’s theoretical price range but it is hard to beat the potential of Champions League football. 

Bojan Miovski (Aberdeen)

Miovski is recovering from an ankle injury and is beginning to ramp up his recovery efforts. His focus right now appears on getting back into the team and Aberdeen’s Europa League playoff round fixtures.

Simon Banza (Braga)

Banza has been linked with Galatasaray in recent days. It is the first set of rumors for the double-digit scorer. 

Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton)

Jiménez, who has been recovering from groin surgery, recently told TUDN that he is preparing for another season in the Premier League. With another season left on his contract, look for the Mexican star to play it out and leave next year on a free transfer.

Sam Surrdige (Nottingham Forest)

With an over-filled roster, Forest needs to move on from several players to right-size the budget. Both Ipswich and Leeds United have reportedly shown interest in Surridge. The Enligh forward makes a lot of sense in Gary Smith’s system but should be a hot commodity among EFL Championship sides. 

Michael Gregoritsch (SC Freiburg)

A whole lot of nothing to report on the Austrian forward. At 29 years old, he has always been at the upper limit of the profile that Mike Jacobs would target.

Jens Odgaard (AZ Alkmaar)

Odgaard is another one without any rumors attached to him. The Dane has only been with AZ Alkmaar for one year, and appears set to stay for at least another year. 

Jordan Pefok (Union Berlin)

Pefok is another who has only been with his current club for a year. There are no rumors about an exit for Pefok who lit the Bundesliga on fire and just as quickly turned ice cold. 

Habib Diallo (Strasbourg)

Diallo is garnering plenty of Premier League interest. Brentford and Newcastle United both have been lining up bids. With a reported price tag between £15m – £20m, Diallo is well beyond Nashville SC’s price range.

Michael Olunga (Al Duhail)

Everyone thought Olunga’s contract had expired with Al Duhail. With a free transfer possible, reports linked Olunga with Everton and Corinthians. However, Olunga’s brother told a Kenyan news outlet that the striker was under contract for another three years in Qatar. Either way, a move to Nashville is highly improbable.

Andrea Belotti (Roma)

Belotti has reportedly signed an extension to remain with Roma. Previously, he had been linked with the ever-active Galatarasy

Jhonder Cádiz (Free Agent)

Cádiz has reported to preseason camp with Famalicão. The Venezuelan was thought to be out of contract heading into this summer. He has either had an option triggered or has resigned with the Portuguese club. 

Isac Lindberg (Go Ahead Eagles)

Like Cádiz, it was thought that Lindberg was headed for a summer as a Bosman player. However, Go Ahead Eagles triggered a contract extension in his contract. With only one-year remaining, it has not slowed down interest. Blackburn, Birmingham City, and Plymouth Argyle are all reportedly interested

Completed transfers

Enner Valencia (Fenerbahçe) – completed signing with S.C. Internacional

Jean-Philippe Krasso (Saint-Étienne) – joining Red Star Belgrade

Teemu Pukki (Norwich) – completed signing with Minnesota United

Petar Ratkov (TSC Bačka Topola) – completed transfer to Red Bull Salzburg

Iké Ugbo (Troyes) – completed loan deal to Cardiff City

Author: Chris IveyChris is a senior writer covering Nashville SC. His writings focus on the team at large and often navigate the complexity of roster building around the myriad of MLS rules. Outside of Broadway Sports Media, Chris resides in Knoxville and is a licensed attorney. Beyond NSC, he is always willing to discuss Tennessee football and basketball, Coventry City, and USMNT. Follow Chris on Twitter

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