Jordan Morris could be heading to overseas after all. The Telegraph and The Athletic are both reporting that Swansea City is close to securing a six-month loan for Morris in a hope of securing promotion from the Championship to the Premier League. Swansea currently sit in the second automatic promotion spot, just one point clear of third-place Bournemouth and four points behind first-place Norwich City.
The Telegraph story says the deal is nearly completed and that Morris could join Swansea as soon as next week. Morris is currently in training camp with the United States national team. There were no details on terms of the deal beyond it being a six-month loan. An updated version of the story claims Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg of the Bundesliga and Serie A’s Fiorentina were also interested in Morris.
The move comes as a bit of a surprise, both due to the timing and the destination. Morris was asked about the possibility of a move as recently as a few days ago and didn’t exactly give the impression anything was imminent.
“Definitely some conversations are ongoing with Seattle and in Europe a little bit,” he said. “It’s a similar stance of where I was before MLS Cup: If the right offer and the right team comes forward, it’s something that I’d be interested in.”
While a move to the English second division isn’t exactly a glamorous move, it does make a certain amount of sense. Swansea has been targeting multiple attacking pieces this window as they’ve lost Morgan Gibbs-White, who was recalled by Wolverhampton Wanderers. Morris would almost certainly be a starter in Swansea’s 3-4-1-2 setup and the length of the loan would allow him to get his first European experience without being locked in anywhere. If he excels, it could set up a move to a bigger club. If it doesn’t work out, he could still return to the Sounders during the summer transfer window. Theoretically, he could be back as soon as June as the loan would effectively expire once Swansea’s season is over.
Although the Sounders are unlikely to stand to gain much if anything from a loan, they have implied they’re willing to let Morris be the driving force in any move.
“We’ll work with Jordan,” Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey said last month. “The way we handle this is we’re just open and transparent. We said ‘Jordan, what do you want to do? We’re happy to work, we want happy players. We want players that are ambitious.’”
At the same time, Lagerwey was honest about how difficult it would be to replace Morris. That woulds be made even more difficult if Morris is gone on a loan as even if they clear his salary off the books for six months, they’re unlikely to gain much if any allocation money windfall. If the start of the season were delayed, as seems a possibility, the pain would be diminished and he’d still potentially be back in time for a playoff push.
“Jordan is a unique asset to our club,” Lagerwey said. “His value to us in our community because of what a good person he is and how active he is, is special and probably not replicable. Jordan is probably worth more to us here than a comparable player who is top 5 in MVP voting. He’s got a lot of value to us.
“That said, we’ll certainly support him in whatever he wants to do, whatever direction he wants to take.”