FC Motagua Issues Escalante Update
The Jose Escalante transfer saga is truly in full swing.
Just one day after FC Motagua announced the signing of the Honduran midfielder and hours after Cavalry FC clarified that Escalante still remained under contract with his Canadian club instead, Motagua has backtracked to say that while they’ve agreed personal terms with Escalante, they were still in the midst of finalizing a loan agreement.
The confusion seems to have stemmed from a series of miscommunications: sources indicate that Escalante had asked for a personal leave of absence to be closer to his family in Honduras, which Cavalry says they granted on Monday. This did not negate his contract, however, so it’s unclear how Escalante and FC Motagua proceeded to the point where Escalante took signing photographs and got announced by them.
While we’re told this caught Cavalry by surprise, though it shouldn’t have given that the FC Motagua head coach openly told media last week that Escalante was due to join. That was before Escalante’s one hundredth appearance back in Calgary, so it’s unclear if any clarifications were sought by the club before the player travelled home on leave and, a day later, got announced by Motagua.
At that point, talks between the two clubs belatedly opened up, with FC Motagua now releasing a statement clarifying that Escalante’s transfer terms have not been finalized.
It’s a sticky situation for both: Cavalry had an under-contract athlete appear to sign elsewhere, while FC Motagua would look ridiculous if they announced a player and had to cancel because he was under contract with another club.
What happens next remains to be seen: Jose and Motagua state that a loan agreement is now in the works, though Escalante has but six months remaining on his Cavalry contract.
To make things even less clear, FC Motagua stated that the loan would be for a one year period – which is longer than Escalante’s contract with Cavalry FC even runs for.
The 28-year-old is on contract with Cavalry for the remainder of 2023 with a club option for a further year which, as of the time of this article, has not had the extra year activated.
Given the bizarre nature of the transfer saga, both clubs will be working hard towards getting things wrapped quickly. Should the move go through, it would represent Escalante’s fifth club in his native Honduras, and his second loan spell there whilst contracted to Cavalry – though his previous move to CDS Vita stemmed from the pandemic.
“We apologize for the lack of communication, you should know that we never acted in bad faith,” read a post from the player himself on Twitter. “We have reached an agreement with the Motagua club based on contractual terms and now both clubs will handle the issue of the loan agreement.”
The Cavalry original signed for the club back in April 2019, quickly becoming one of the most polarizing players in the league: he goaded opponents into fouls, with his natural ability on the ball combining with a feisty nature to make him a frustrating opponent to play against.
Having completed his one-hundredth appearance last weekend, he’s contributed some nine goals and sixteen assists during his time playing for the Canadian side thus far.
“He’s one of the best foreign imports we’ve had to this league,” head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. had said after last weekend’s match. “I think the guy you see on the pitch for us and the guy that’s in the community are two different people. He’s meant a lot to this organization.”
While Jose has long-yearned for an opportunity with the Honduras national team and has flirted with a return home before, few would have imagined it might come in the shape that it’s taking.
Header Image Photo Credit: Tony Lewis / CFC Media