Frank Yallop and Brian Bliss have spent much of the nine months since taking over the Chicago Fire front office remaking the team roster.
They're far from done.
Contact information ( * required )
According to sources, Fire officials are close to signing a forward from Argentina who has been playing in France.
Meanwhile, Goal.com reported Friday night that Jermaine Jones, a 32-year-old midfielder who had a strong World Cup for the United States, turned down a 2½-year contract from the Fire for $6 million, a deal that would have put him in the top 10 of MLS player salaries. A source told the Daily Herald that Jones is getting better offers from a club in oil-rich Qatar.
Yallop, the Fire coach/director of soccer, acknowledged Wednesday the Fire was in talks with Jones.
That contract would seem to make Jones a designated player by MLS rules. The Fire is one of two teams in MLS without a DP. It's not known if the Argentine forward would qualify as a DP.
Jones, apparently in Los Angeles, tweeted Saturday morning: "The offer of chicago fire honors me! There are rumours in the news. But all the figures mentioned are not the truth."
Just 10 players on the Fire's active roster remain from the end of the 2013 season. Some of them could be moved to other MLS clubs via trade, but probably not until things settle in the transfer market.
The MLS summer transfer window closes Wednesday, but clubs can trade within MLS until Sept. 15, the roster freeze date.
The Fire is 3-5-12 going into Saturday night's game against the Columbus Crew at Toyota Park, and sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The top five clubs in each conference reach the playoffs, and the Fire has missed the playoffs three of the last four seasons.
• Follow Orrin's soccer reports on Twitter@Orrin_Schwarz.