LAFC confirmed the departure of their captain, Laurent Ciman today. The 33-year-old veteran is set to head back to Europe and join France’s Dijon FCO.
At this juncture in the season, it is strange that a club would be selling to ship away one of their most valuable pieces. There are only eight matches remaining and LAFC sit in third in the Western Conference.
Laurent Ciman Leaving LAFC
However, according to Kevin Baxter of the LA Times, there were some contract disputes between the two parties. Ciman was in the final year of his current deal, while Dijon, who currently sit in second in Ligue 1, were offering two years plus a third-year option.
Things were rocky between Ciman and LAFC last week when Bob Bradley left him off the roster against the LA Galaxy. Bradley stated afterwards that the Belgian had not looked as focused as usual and hinted at a potential transfer in the near future.
On Tuesday morning, the news of Ciman’s transfer were confirmed. After playing 22 regular season games with LAFC, and spending the last four seasons in MLS, Ciman will be heading back to Europe.
Dijon will reportedly be paying LAFC a transfer fee of around $500,000 for Ciman’s two-year contract, with that third-year option.
What’s next for LAFC?
Despite limping off in the first half last week, Danilo Silva was signed on loan from Internacional in Brazil to add defensive depth to the roster. Ciman’s replacement in the LA derby was Walker Zimmerman, who is an experienced MLS defender, even though he is only 25.
Another option on the bench that LAFC has is the Croatian-born, Canadian international defender Dejan Jaković. He has enough experience, where if either of the two aforementioned get injured, to step up if need be. Finally, Joao Moutinho who is in his first MLS season and will now be looking to get ample playing time.
While Ciman will leave a 6’ hole in the back line, perhaps it is a move that will be best for both parties in the end.