beIN SPORTS USA
On Saturday - seemingly confirming weeks of speculation and rumors regarding an imminent transfer - Besiktas announced that Orlando City SC and Canadian national team forward Cyle Larin has undergone a a physical exam with the club.
Despite photos of a smiling Larin in Turkey, it appears that a transfer agreement between Major League Soccer (who hold Larin's contract) and Besiktas is not yet official.
In a statement to ProSoccerUSA.com, Orlando City SC spokesmen Diogo Kotscho said "Cyle is under contract until 2019. He is not a free agent and we will take action against Besiktas for announcing this today."
Issues here: For Orlando City - proving validity of contract options (club has taken steps to protect itself), working out a deal for player who no longer wants to be there. For Besiktas - possible tampering charge, deciding whether Larin has case for free agency to fight for— Alicia Rose DelGallo (@OSAliciaD) January 13, 2018
For several months, Larin has expressed his desire to leave MLS and try his fortunes in Europe. This past October, he told the Orlando Sentinel, “I think I’m ready to challenge myself and play at the highest possible level I can. My contract is ending this season, and I think it’s the right time. I love playing for Orlando. MLS and Orlando have given me a lot, and in the three years I’ve been here, I love playing and I love the fans, but I think to reach my goals it’s necessary to play at the highest level possible with the best players.”
At the center of the delay in Larin's move, are the details of his contract with MLS and Orlando City. His American employers maintain that the contract did not end at the end of the 2017 season, as Larin indicated, but also includes two additional player-option years for 2018 and 2019, for which Orlando City would have to be compensated before Larin could move on to Besiktas.