Unusual turn of events for Orlando City Striker Duncan McGuire: Deal agreed, deal canceled, deal agreed again?

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The loan-deal has been finally signed, sealed, and sent! USMNT forward and Orlando City SC star Duncan McGuire has completed a move to EFL Championship side Blackburn Rovers FC on the last day of the winter transfer window, both Clubs have confirmed (Orlando and Blackburn).

However, the finalized transfer to the English team had to overcome a collapsed deal and a late interest from Sheffield Wednesday FC.

What Happened?

It was a hectic 24 hours for the American as a dramatic turn of events saw his initial move to Blackburn fall through mid-flight to England. McGuire was en route to the city of Blackburn in order to finalize the last few details of his loan until negotiations were reportedly canceled by the English Club.

There was no set reason why the loan-deal was called off as many might believe it was due to last minute financial motives. Prior to the call off, Orlando and Blackburn initially agreed on a $4 million fee.

Nevertheless, Blackburn wasn’t the only team that was keen on McGuire as Sheffield Wednesday and three other clubs also showed interest in the 22-year-old striker during and before the transfer deadline.

While his future was still up in the air, McGuire waited patiently in his hotel, standing by for any kind of news or answers from Orlando City as both the Club and the striker hoped to figure out a move elsewhere on deadline day.

But to everyone’s surprise, during the morning of the last day of the January transfer window, Blackburn would reach out to Orlando again and this time, seal a new deal on the forward, putting an end to all the twists and turns of the last minute transfer.

The Deal

Orlando City loaned McGuire to Blackburn Rovers on a six-month loan deal with a loan fee of $700,000 with an option to buy the American forward for around $7 million, according to Tom Bogert from The Athletic.

McGuire’s One Season Spell in the MLS

In his one year season with The Lions, McGuire definitely established himself as one of top rookies in the 2023 MLS campaign, registering 15 goals and three assists in 36 appearances (24 of them starts). 

He was originally selected by Orlando in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft as the sixth overall pick following his last season at Creighton University, where he won the 2022 MAC Hermann Trophy after leading the nation with 23 goals in NCAA Division I play. 

McGuire is now Orlando’s latest college soccer-to-MLS/Europe success story after former Orlando City strikers Daryl Dike and Cyle Larin made their moves overseas. Not only that, but he would also be joining a collection of USMNT players in the EFL Championship league like Josh Sargent (Norwich City), Haji Wright (Coventry City), Reggie Cannon (Queens Park Rangers), and many others.

Blackburn’s Form

At the moment, Blackburn Rovers sits in 18th place in the EFL Championship table, just eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Outside the league, the English Club is still competing in the FA Cup after beating Wrexham A.F.C 4-1 in the fourth round of the tournament.

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