Zoltan Stieber, the second of perhaps three D.C. United acquisitions in the final days of the MLS transfer and trade window, joined his new team for training Monday morning.
With financial terms settled, the Hungarian national team midfielder arrived in Washington on Saturday. He passed a physical and attended the 1-1 draw with Toronto FC that evening at RFK Stadium.
United will announce the deal once final paperwork is completed. Stieber, 28, cannot play for United until his work visa and international transfer certificate are approved, leaving in question whether he’ll debut this Saturday against visiting Real Salt Lake or the following weekend at Colorado.
According to sources familiar with the move, United will pay Kaiserslautern, Stieber’s German second-flight club for the past year, a transfer fee of more than $1 million. D.C. will also furnish a salary of more than $1 million, making him the club’s highest-paid player.
Stieber, who scored for Hungary at the 2016 European Championship, joins Bolivian forward Bruno Miranda, 19, as the newest signings on MLS’s worst team (5-14-4, winless in seven straight).
Stieber has played for seven German clubs in eight years: Koblenz, Aachen, Mainz, Gruether Fuerth, Hamburg, Nurnberg and Kaiserslautern. He is comfortable on either wing and in central midfield.
United also remains in the hunt for defensive help before the league’s summer window closes Wednesday. Inter Milan’s Gary Medel, a Chilean national team figure at the past two World Cups, is atop D.C.’s list.
In an apparent battle with Turkish club Besiktas for his services, United raising its salary offer to $10 million over two years, according to one source. With a place in the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League group stage, though, Besiktas has the clear edge. United would also have to reach a transfer agreement with Inter Milan, whose minority owner, Erick Thohir, is D.C.’s primary benefactor.
In case the Medel efforts fail, United has kept in contact with other possible signings and engaged in trade talks.
United Coach Ben Olsen said Saturday that “you’ll certainly see a new player or two” before the deadline.
Stieber’s international goals:
vs. Lithuania in a June 2015 friendly …
Vs. Finland in Euro qualifier in June 2015:
Vs. Austria in 2016 European Championship group stage …