San Jose Earthquakes targeting Club America's Darwin Quintero - sources
CARSON, Calif. -- The San Jose Earthquakes are accelerating their search for attacking players, with Club America forward Darwin Quintero at the top of their shopping list.
Multiple league sources confirmed to ESPN FC that the Quakes are prepared to put together a financial package whereby the transfer fee and salary will both be in the multimillion-dollar range.
San Jose originally ranked near, but not at the top, of the discovery list in terms of acquiring Quintero's MLS rights. But league rules stipulate that if a club puts in a concrete offer for a player, then the teams above it in the ranking must follow suit or give up their rights to the player.
The sources indicated that the teams above San Jose chose not to make such an offer, leaving the Quakes with first crack at Quintero among MLS teams. If the deal is completed, San Jose will pay $50,000 in general allocation money to the team that was originally at the top of the discovery list for Quintero's rights.
Acquiring Quintero would give San Jose -- which scored and MLS-worst 32 goals last season -- the kind of creative, dynamic attacking threat it has long lacked. Quintero, 29, has spent the past seven years playing in Liga MX, first with Santos Laguna and most recently Club America.
During his time in Mexico, Quintero has made 373 league and cup appearances while scoring 114 goals. In that period, Quintero's teams have won one Primera Division title, one Copa MX, and two CONCACAF Champions League crowns.
San Jose has also been in pursuit of Hertha Berlin and Ivory Coast forward Solomon Kalou. The financial demands of Kalou, 31, are similar to Quintero's, making it likely that the Quakes will sign at most, one of those two players, but not both.
The Quakes recruiting push doesn't end there either. The sources confirmed that San Jose is close to signing FC Lucerne and Albania midfielder Jahmir Hyka, and is also close to doing the same with Costa Rica international forward Marco Urena, who is currently on the books at Danish side Brondby.
Hyka, 28, is primarily a left-sided midfielder who has been with Lucerne for the past five seasons. In that time he has made 174 league and cup appearances, scoring 27 goals. Prior to that he spent time with hometown club FK Tirana, Norwegian side Rosenborg, German club Mainz 05, and Greek side Panionios. Hyka has made 38 appearances for Albania's national team, scoring two goals.
Urena, 26, has played in Denmark for the past three seasons, first with FC Midtjylland, and then Brondby. In that time he has made 51 appearances, scoring five goals. Urena has also made 40 appearances for Costa Rica, scoring 10 goals, including the third tally in the Ticos' 3-1 victory over Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.