Orlando City striker Cyle Larin has yet to complete his move from to Besiktas, despite the Turkish club tweeting photos of the striker wearing the club’s jersey and undergoing a physical.
It appeared the young Canadian’s expected move overseas was imminent, but Orlando said in a statement that it “has not agreed to terms on a transfer of Larin and will take all necessary action against Besiktas in response to the announcement.
“Larin remains under contract with Orlando City through 2019 and is expected to join his teammates at preseason camp later this month.”
Reports from Turkey say Larin has agreed to personal terms with Besiktas, but indications are Larin and his agents have acted independently from the club.
MLS sources told ESPN FC on Saturday that Orlando and Besiktas are not close to terms on a transfer fee. An Orlando spokesperson told MLSsoccer.com a day earlier that the club had yet to receive any offer from Besiktas.
— Beşiktaş JK (@Besiktas) 13 January 2018
Larin’s representatives did not respond to a message seeking comment on the situation.
In 2015, Larin signed a five-year contract when he came out of the MLS draft as a Generation Adidas player, including three years guaranteed and two club options. The club officially picked up Larin’s option for 2018 in November.
Orlando City officials said they had Larin sign a document acknowledging he was aware of his option years to ensure the player could not dispute those option years of his contract.
However, over the past year Larin and his agents have used language when discussing a potential transfer as though he was out of contract at the end of the 2017 season.
“My contract is ending this season and I think it’s the right time [to move],” Larin told the Orlando Sentinel in October.
At that time, Orlando City general manager Niki Budalic said the club would not stand in the way of Larin pursuing a move to Europe. But the MLS club is clearly not going to let Larin leave on a free transfer when it believes it is entitled to a fee.
Larin has scored 43 goals in 87 appearances with Orlando City since breaking out as a rookie in the 2015 season. The No. 1 overall draft pick out of UConn, he set the single-season record for goals with 17 in Orlando City’s first year in MLS.
His numbers have dropped since then as Orlando City changed coaches and systems, with Larin scoring 14 goals in 2016 and just 12 last season.
Orlando City traded for Sporting Kansas City striker Dom Dwyer midway through last season and announced a contract extension for Dwyer earlier this month.