It’s official: Najar sold to Anderlecht

January 30, 2013

D.C. United has completed negotiations with Anderlecht and sold 19-year-old Andy Najar to the reigning Belgium champions, both clubs announced Wednesday. The fee was not disclosed, but a source with direct knowledge of the deal valued it at $3 million.

“It has been very rewarding to watch Andy grow and develop into becoming the special player that he is,” United General Manager Dave Kasper said in a written statement.

As for replacing Najar, Kasper added: “We plan to focus on utilizing our resources and flexibility to continue to build our team.

Kasper was traveling to Florida and not immediately available for an interview.

[My story from earlier today provides some detail and examines implications for United.]

In anticipation of the transfer, Najar was not on the game-day roster today for Anderlecht’s 1-0 victory over Genk in the first leg of the Belgian Cup semifinals. He is scheduled to fly to his native Honduras on Friday for national team training camp ahead of a World Cup qualifier against the United States next Wednesday in San Pedro Sula.

United’s Chris Pontius tweeted: “I’m genuinely happy for the kid. Great player, unreal potential, awesome person.”

As part of an open letter to United supporters, Najar wrote: “A special thanks to my coach Ben Olsen and all of his staff. I came to D.C. United and chose #14 because I wanted to follow in his footsteps. He has been a great coach and more importantly an excellent role model for me to learn from.  My teammates have cared for me like a little brother during this journey and I wouldn’t  have been blessed with this chance without their hard work. Most importantly, I would like to thank the fans of the Club. From day one when I signed as a young man, they have supported me in tough moments and enjoyed the good times with me.”

Said Olsen: “I’m excited for him and the opportunity he has in front of him.”

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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Steven Goff · January 30, 2013