D.C. United announced Thursday that it declined to exercise the option to purchase Charlie Davies’ contract from Sochaux, the French club that loaned him to MLS this season. No surprise there: The original agreement, sources said, called for a $1.3 million transfer fee — a sum that, after watching Davies over the course of the season, neither United nor any other MLS side would be willing to pay.

Did today’s announcement permanently cut ties between the striker and United? No. But the chances of him returning to Washington appear slim.

“We are looking at a variety of options at this time,” General Manager Dave Kasper said. “Charlie is also looking at all of his options.”

The options are:

— Sochaux agrees to extend the loan and United retains him. My take: Doubtful. He fell out of favor with Coach Ben Olsen and, despite some impressive moments, lacked consistency.

— Sochaux agrees to extend the loan and United trades his MLS rights. My take: Likely. Some other clubs would fancy his scoring prowess and media/marketing power.

— Davies and Sochaux work out an agreement that allows him to play somewhere in Europe. My take: Possible. He’s not ready for Ligue 1 — he may never be, although Bordeaux might be interested. European leagues, of course, offer many levels of competition.

While all parties work on the next step — DCU, MLS, Sochaux, his James Grant Sports representatives — Davies is expected to return to France this month for off-season training.