Bautista likely to return to Chivas or go to MLS

Publish date:

Chivas de Guadalajara has courted Jaguares' Adolfo "Bofo" Bautista for much of 2009.

That interest will likely lead Bautista somewhere, either to Guadalajara and a return to el Rebaño Sagrado or to the United States and Major League Soccer.

Chivas president Rafael Lebrija told Guadalajara daily Mural that Bautista will likely wind up in either of those destinations, despite Jaguares de Chiapas' attempts to milk more money from Chivas.

"We are interested in him, and obviously if he doesn't sign a contract with his, the play is free to sign a contract with any team outside of Mexico," Lebrija said.

Bautista's contract runs out at the end of the year and he can leave the country on a free contract. In order for him to remain in Mexico, a club would have to agree to a transfer fee with Jaguares, as part of the ongoing Pacto de Caballeros, or Gentlemen's Agreement.

Chivas is offering $1.5 million, according to Mural.

Lebrija said there is interest from Chivas USA with regards to Bautista, and the player would be free to pursue such a club.

"He can play not only for Chivas USA but with any other team in MLS or he could go to any other part of the world," Lebrija said.

According to Mural, Jaguares are asking for $2.6 million, about two-thirds of what they paid to obtain his services initially.

While Lebrija and Chivas have openly pursued Bautista for much of this year, Lebrija denied to Mural that there is an agreement in place between club and player for Bautista to join Chivas USA in case a return to Chivas does not happen in time for next season.

Bautista came up with Tecos UAG and spent time with Morelia and Pachuca before joining Chivas, where he became a bit of an icon. He helped lead Chivas to the Apertura 2006 championship, forever cementing his spot in club lore. He left after the Clausura 2007 for Jaguares and has been there since.

In all, Bautista has scored 81 regular-season goals in Mexico.

"However you look at it, he's an interesting player," Lebrija said. "We hope to come to an agreement but if that does not happen he is free to join any team outside of Mexico."