The New England Revolution may have exercised its purchase option on Jose Goncalves’ loan agreement in November, but a recent interview with the Portuguese center back suggests he could be seeking a return to Europe.
According to an interview posted to the blog A Minute in Sports!, Goncalves spoke of his intent to continue his career in Europe in the not so distant future.
“For any player in the world to play in Europe is very interesting,” Goncalves told the blog on Jan. 19. “It is the highest league and that’s why I am thinking to be back in Europe very soon.”
Goncalves was born in Lisbon, Portugal before moving to Switzerland at young age. He spent the entirety of his career on the continent before he was loaned to the Revolution last year.
The 2013 MLS Defender of the Year also cited family reasons and a potential opportunity with the Portuguese National Team behind his desire to return to Europe.
“My family is in Europe and I need a plan for my future life, definitely,” Goncalves told the blog. “I am also fighting for a spot in the [Portuguese] national team and that has always been my goal.”
Additionally, Goncalves expressed disappointment with the negotiations he had with the front office concerning the purchase option.
“After the MLS season ended last year, there have been a lot of discussions and meetings with the Revs,” Goncalves told the blog. “A lot of promises have been made, but nothing came at the end and the club also gave me the feeling that I am easy to replace, so for me it is a very simple answer and that’s it.”
Goncalves declined to advise whether his desire to go back to Europe, or his dissatisfaction with the front office, would open the door to a hasty departure.
“I can’t tell you more about that right now,” Goncalves told the blog. “I am still under contract but the future will tell you more.”
On Friday, Revolution general manager Michael Burns issued the following statement to New England Soccer Today in response to the interview.
“We’re aware of the interview Jose conducted, and want to stress that he’s a valuable member of the Revolution,” Burns said in an e-mail. “Jose is under contract with MLS and New England for multiple years, but having said that, we’ll continue to have dialogue with his representative regarding his contract.”
Goncalves isn’t the first player to express frustration with the Revolution front office. In 2010, former Revolution midfielder Jeff Larentowicz told the Boston Globe that fellow teammates had been soured by the front office’s approach to personnel decisions.
“Teams have decisions to make on players and players have decisions to make for themselves they have to feel comfortable with,” Larentowicz told the Globe in 2010. “Over time, [the Revolution] weren’t doing right by their players. I watched a lot of talented players and friends go and a lot seemed unhappy who were still there.”
Larentowicz was traded to the Colorado Rapids prior to the 2010 season.