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Aug 21, 2014

Jones denies MLS move reports

The ESPN FC crew is joined by Tim Howard to discuss Jermaine Jones' future and what he could add to an MLS team.

U.S. international Jermaine Jones has denied reports that he has signed with MLS.

On Wednesday evening, Chicago-based publication, The Daily Herald reported that Jones had signed an 18-month, 4 million dollar contract with MLS and was only waiting to hear whether he would play for the Chicago Fire or the New England Revolution.

But a Goal.com report stated that the deal had hit a snag due to a disagreement over where Jones would play, and that no contract had been signed.

Jones later denied the Daily Herald report himself via his Twitter account.

There has been confusion throughout the negotiations with Jones about where his ultimate destination would be.

U.S. internationals coming to MLS typically go through the league's allocation process, whereby the team at the top of the allocation ranking is given first crack at signing such in-demand players.

It was by this mechanism that U.S. international defender DaMarcus Beasley ended up with the Houston Dynamo last month. But MLS has stated that if a player's salary exceeds a certain threshold, then that player isn't subject to the allocation order, and typically ends up with the team willing to pay the most for the player.

Sources told ESPNFC.com that Jones prefers to play in Chicago as opposed to New England, but that New England's ownership was putting pressure on the league office to place Jones with the Revolution. New England is even willing to pay Jones above what the league negotiated with the player's representatives. Now it will be up to the league to try to sort out the dispute without alienating Jones.

League representatives couldn't be reached for comment.

Jones, 32, has been out of contract since the end of June when his deal with Turkish club Besiktas expired. He has represented the U.S. national team 46 times, and played in all four games for the Americans at the 2014 World Cup, scoring in the U.S. team's 2-2 tie with Portugal.

Jeff Carlisle

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. He has covered the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups for ESPN in Germany, South Africa and Brazil, respectively. Follow him on Twitter @jeffreycarlisle.

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