D.C. United and Perry Kitchen appear to be parting ways after five seasons.
Unable to reach agreement with the midfielder on a new, long-term contract, United is shifting focus to a replacement from abroad, the Insider has learned.
Kitchen’s pact expires this month. The sides have been engaged in serious talks for weeks and, with training camp one month away, United has been eager to resolve the matter, one way or the other.
The door is not completely closed, one source cautioned, but the likelihood of a deal is slim. Another source said that “both parties have moved on.”
Sources said last week that United has offered more than $400,000 in base salary, presumably guaranteed for at least two seasons. Kitchen’s previous pact was worth $172,000 in base salary and $257,450 in overall compensation, according to MLS Players’ Union data.
Kitchen apparently has suitors in Denmark and Germany. Two months short of his 24th birthday, he is at a prime moment to make the leap to Europe.
A Danish first-division club would seem to be a good fit for an MLS player with only two U.S. national team appearances. German interest would likely have come from the second division.
United has scouted this offseason in France and Argentina. The club is in the market for an attacking midfielder and, if Kitchen departs, a defensive midfielder.
United officials have declined to go into detail about negotiations with Kitchen. His agent, Lyle Yorks, did not want to comment.
Kitchen played one season at the University of Akron. United selected him third overall in the 2011 MLS draft. After filling multiple roles as a rookie, Kitchen has served as the starting defensive midfielder in almost every league match for four seasons.
If Kitchen leaves for Europe, United would retain his MLS rights indefinitely because, as league rules state, “attempts were made to re-sign the player.”