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Union target Algeria captain Madjid Bougherra

With the return of Carlos Valdes from loan uncertain, Philadelphia Union are continuing to pursue other options in central defense ahead of the opening of the transfer window on Tuesday, July 8.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells PSP that the Union have targeted Madjid Bougherra, the captain of the Algerian national team that advanced to the Round of 16 at the World Cup, where they fell to Germany.

Bougherra, 31, who has played for Sheffield Wednesday and Charlon Athletic, is perhaps best known for his three-year stint with Glasgow Rangers, where he played in 2008-2011 and was a teammate of the Union’s Maurice Edu.

Born in France, but choosing to play for Algeria, Bougherra is a free agent after leaving Qatar Stars League club Lekhwiya in May.

PSP understands that it is unlikely that the Union would be able to acquire both Bougherra and Valdes.

Interest in Bougherra from the Union is not new. In February, the website reported (translation here) that Bougherra “was recently approached by the MLS franchise Philadelphia Union,” adding, “No action at this time.”

On July 3, ESPNFC Algeria correspondent Maher Mezahi tweeted of Bougherra, “Already rejected a move to MLS,” adding, “Qatar clubs monitoring.”

In addition to in terest from Qatar, recent reports from England suggest the Union would be competing against interest in Bougherra from Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Derby County. Reports in June also suggested interest in the defender from Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, and Burnley.

Bougherra has indicated that he would like to finish his career with Rangers but that this is something that might not be possible at present.

“I want to return to the English Premier League,” Bougherra told the Scotsman in a report that was published on Sunday. “It is unbelievable and I miss it. And I want to get ready for the African Cup so I want to go to the Premier League to find the level and spirit I need to do that.

“I have two or three years in front of me and I want to prove that I can play at a high level, and I want to prove again that I am good enough to do that,” Bougherra said.

The MLS transfer window, which opens on Tuesday, closes on August 6.



  1. Ah…..Crystal Palace or Philadelphia Union. Hmm. Let me thinks on that a little.

    • Yeah- interesting pursuit, but it seems like every nugget in this story points to the Union not getting him. Still interesting to hear about these things, but I’m hoping Valdes returns.

      • Yea most player rumors coming out of the Union are of the we are targeting THIS GUY!!!! -mumblemumblebut we aren’tgoingtogethimmumblemumble*cough* type

  2. Hmmm. Nothing like paying on over inflated price right after a good WC performance. How about a goal scorer?

    • I suspect they’re working on both a true CB and a scorer. They really do need both. Must be an odd recruiting process though, asking someone to join a team with a losing record and an interim coach. It seems like getting a coach in place is a precursor to getting anyone of real quality to commit to coming here.

      • also could be part of getting a new coach. the old “see we have and are willing to spend money” come and build with us pitch. knowing we likely lose the bidding battle makes it a high profile and safe bet for a look what we are trying PR piece.

    • It was Boughi’s goal against Burkina Faso which sealed the berth to the World Cup for the Fennecs.

      At Rangers, Walter Smith appreciated his ability to get ‘up’ front when necessary…and as big as Madjid is, he is deceptively agile and quick.

  3. George H says:

    Always interesting to hear substantiated transfer rumors. This could be a back up plan for Valdes or it could be a signal to him that the chance to come back to the Union won’t be there forever so he shouldn’t delay his decision while waiting for a better offer from somewhere else.

    Nice get, Ed.

  4. kingkowboys says:

    If this guy really wants to go back to the Premier League then I can’t see the Union signing him. The Union would either wind up overpaying or be the 4th or 5th backup plan if his Premier League choices all pass. Being on a free transfer is nice for the Union but I would rather get Valdes back.

  5. Your MLS club would have Magic plus if your club were able to convince Madjid Bougherra to come across the pond to play for you.

    He is an excellent centreback, the rock of any team’s defense and a fantastic and natural leader-well organized, thoughtful and a champion (Rangers and Lekhwiya-3 championships each for those teams)-and it was his leadership which got Algeria’s Fennecs to the 2014 World Cup where they had one of the best defenses in the tournament. He is FOXY!

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