Aaron Galindo has been a target of Chivas de Guadalajara for some time now, and it looks as if the club is closing in on bringing the talented central defender back home.
But there is one snag, and it may be the most infuriating one possible.
In Mexico, there is a long-standing agreement, or a Pacto de Bandoleros is Cancha referred to it, where teams must compensate other teams for players. So, if Team A wants a player who last played for Team B, Team A must give up something in return.
This isn't part of any laws or anything. An out-of-contract player can walk if he so chooses; it's not like MLS where the league owns the contracts and there isn't really any free agency. Under this "Pacto" Chivas has to give up something to Galindo's last club, Cruz Azul, in order to welcome him onto their team.
Eintracht Frankfurt, of course, has Galindo's rights. Cruz Azul has nothing except the distinction of having been Galindo's last Mexican club he played for.
This is common in Mexico, though, but many fans aren't really aware of this front-office agreement. Myself, I didn't even know a whole lot about it before Juan Pablo Garcia's signing in 2005. Atlas, Garcia's former club, wanted Chivas to give them something in return but Chivas declined because Garcia was going to a foreign league. I think when Garcia finally returned to Mexico either Tigres or Chivas settled the debt.
Really, this whole Pacto thing seems asinine to be honest. I really see no benefit to it in terms of where the players are involved. None. I wonder though if it has any effect on player movement. Maybe it's a big ado about nothing since it's just at a higher level and only benefits management.
And as far as Galindo and Chivas are concerned, Cancha said that Chivas is willing to offer their "rights" to Omar Bravo. In the offseason, of course, Bravo left Mexico and joined Deportivo la Coruna on a free transfer. Deportivo has his rights but if Bravo wants to return to Mexico and Chvias deals his "rights" to Cruz Azul, he would either need to play for Cruz Azul or another club would have to give up something to Cruz Azul to get him.
Oh, what a tangled web.