The will he or won't he come back to San Jose saga of Yannick Djalo seems to be drawing to a conclusion if a report from Portugal is correct. According to the on-line version of the newspaper O Jogo, Djalo will join Russian Premier League side Mordovia Saransk for the remainder of the season, which runs through June. If there is a future for Djalo with the Earthquakes, it will have to wait until the MLS summer transfer window opens in July.
The 28-year-old forward is under contract with Benfica through the end of the 2016 Portuguese season. A history of injuries has hampered his career, and Djalo has bounced from club to club after spending the first ten years as youth and then senior player with giants Sporting Clube de Portugal. His one season in MLS was marked by numerous injuries.
When healthy, Djalo was a top talent for San Jose and one of the most exciting players to watch in all of MLS. However, a series of leg ailments limited the forward to only 13 starts in 18 appearances in 2014, a paltry number for a player expected to be a big focus of the Quakes offense. His paucity of points was reflected in a stat line that shows only 3 goals and 2 assists for the entire year.
Russian media reports linked Djalo to Mordovia earlier in week, but the team has backed down from its initial claim that the loan deal was finalized, and Benfica has not made any official comment. The Russian league is currently on winter break, so Djalo would join up with Mordovia at its training camp in Turkey. Mordovia is coached by famed Russian player and coach Yuri Semin, and the team sits in tenth place in the league as it prepares for the second half of the season.
Djalo was linked to a move to Russia, as well as Turkey, back in December. Orlando City, the newest MLS expansion side, was also reported to have interest in Djalo. In the wake of that report, new Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear said that sealing a deal with Benfica for another loan was not a straightforward endeavor. The inclusion of a healthy Matias Perez Garcia and the contributions expected from second-year forward Tommy Thompson are expected to mitigate the loss of Djalo.