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Former Sligo Rovers star Richie Ryan is heading for Miami in a massively-lucrative deal

The midfielder is linking up with legendary former Italian star Alessandro Nesta, who is in charge of the struggling NASL franchise.

Image: Jacksonville Armada

FORMER SLIGO ROVERS midfielder Richie Ryan is in demand and making some transfer history across the Atlantic.

The 31-year-old has been plying his trade in the NASL (soccer’s second tier in North America) for the last two years and swapped Canadian capital Ottawa (he captained the Fury to the 2015 Championship final where they were beaten by the New York Cosmos) for Jacksonville, Florida late last year.

But, with the new season having only got underway last month, he’s on the move once again.

According to multiple reports, Ryan is set to sign a lucrative and record-breaking deal with new franchise Miami FC – the team co-owned by Paolo Maldini and managed by Alessandro Nesta.

Nesta Source: The Miami FC

The transfer is thought to cost $750,000 – an extraordinary amount for the league and for football in North America, generally – in terms of domestic club-to-club deals.

There is a slight caveat, though.

Miami, despite much anticipation and expectation, have struggled badly in their debut campaign – winning none and losing four of their six games so far – and are rooted to the bottom of the table.

Last weekend, they were thumped 3-0 by the Cosmos and Nesta talked of the need to rebuild in the direct aftermath of the game.

“This was the worst game we played; and I am to blame, of course, because I am the coach”, he said.

“I have to rebuild the situation, the confidence, everything because tonight we touched the bottom. We didn’t score one goal, defense was no good, midfield no good, everything no good. We have to restart, and that’s it.”

Tipperary-born Ryan is a born leader and a physical, energetic presence at the base of the midfield. He certainly fits the mold of what Miami desperately need.

And, he’s set to gain an incredible salary raise as a sweetener too.

It’s being reported that Ryan could be set to triple his current salary, which is currently believed to be in the region of $80 – 90k.

Though the side are finding the going tough, they do possess some fine individual talent – namely former Ajax and Nice striker Dario Cvitanich and the ex-Wigan, Stoke and Tottenham midfielder Wilson Palacios.

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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