An offer from an English Championship club to take United States defender Aaron Long on loan has been turned down by the New York Red Bulls, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.
The offer involved taking on all of Long’s salary and included an option to buy in the US$2-3 million range. The Red Bulls didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment, though as of last Thursday a league source told ESPN that the Red Bulls had yet to receive an official offer.
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Long is currently in Orlando with the U.S. national team, who are set to play a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday. The Oak Hills, Calif. native has made 18 appearances for the U.S. while scoring three goals.
The decline of the offer comes amid several reports regarding Long’s future. ESPN reported on Friday that Liverpool was among the teams monitoring the U.S. central defender, while Soccer By Ives stated that there were three English Premier League clubs looking to bring Long on board. The Washington Post earlier reported that English Championship side Reading was interested in bringing Long in on loan, while MLSSoccer.com said there was “interest from clubs in England and France.” The source confirmed that the French team that is interested is Lorient.
Long, 28, has drawn interest from a variety of teams over the years. Back in 2019 multiple bids from Premier League teams were rejected. These included a bid from West Ham United. A bid from Ligue 1 side Amiens was also turned down.
Long signed a new contract to play for the Red Bulls in 2019 and the deal has one more year to run plus a team option for the 2022 season.
Long was drafted by the Portland Timbers in 2014, but was released in midseason having had loan stints in the USL Championship with Sacramento Republic and the Orange County Blues. He soon latched on with the Seattle Sounders and spent 2015 playing for their reserve team. In 2016 Long went on trial with the Red Bulls and was signed to their reserve team, New York Red Bulls II, and spent the entire 2016 season in the USL.
In 2017, Long made a breakthrough into the Red Bulls first team, and has been a mainstay ever since, making 120 league, cup and playoff appearances, scoring nine goals. He was named MLS Defender of the Year in 2018, a season in which the Red Bulls claimed the Supporters Shield, which goes to the team with the highest regular season points total.