Eddie Johnson deal with MLS ‘unlikely’ to be finalized because of contract issues

Eddie Johnson to MLS? Not so fast.

After the league announced Tuesday that the on-again, off-again U.S. national team forward had agreed to terms and would be allocated to an MLS club this week, the 27-year-old forward had second thoughts and pulled out of the deal, multiple sources told the Insider.

The sides had verbally agreed to a three-year contract valued at a prorated figure this year (based on a $175,000 salary), $225,000 in 2012 and $275,000 in 2013. One unidentified team agreed to take him at those numbers. But Johnson wasn’t happy with the pact and apparently told his representatives that he wanted a larger base contract.

So the deal with MLS is “unlikely” to happen at this time, one source said.

As a free agent, Johnson could still end up in MLS before the Sept. 15 roster deadline. But given the circumstances of this episode, it’s hard to see a club taking a chance on Johnson, who, after leaving MLS in 2008, scored seven goals in 80 appearances for four European clubs (Fulham, Cardiff City, Aris, Preston North End). Aris in Greece was reportedly interested in signing him this month.

MLS officials declined to comment and his representatives couldn’t be immediately reached.

UPDATE: Johnson’s agent, Richard Motzkin, wrote on Twitter that “we were in the final stages of negotiation with MLS but never reached agreement, subject to formal documents.”

UPDATE: “We had reached agreement, subject to formal documents,” MLS executive vice president Todd Durbin told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s unfortunate the player did not want to conclude a formal agreement, but we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.

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