The representatives of Real Madrid’s out-of-favour star Gareth Bale have been sounding out options for the winger to move to the MLS, but according to The Athletic, at least one American club has already rejected their advances. What’s more, it seems the trend of the USA clubs signing declining world-class stars is gradually ending.

There is no possible way to asses with any certainty how the Covid-19 pandemic will affect the reasoning of clubs when selling expensive players. They could choose to keep them if they aren’t willing to cash in smaller amounts than they had previously hoped to get, or they could accept lower offers with the aim being to trim down their wage bills.

That, however, isn’t the reason behind the change in the approach of the MLS clubs. It seems that they’ve realized that the stars in the final years of their careers have very little return value, and they will now be turning their attentions to developing younger players. One good example is the way Atlanta United handled the business with Miguel Almiron, whom they signed from Argentinian side Lanus in 2016 for $8 million before selling him to Newcastle for over $25m two years later – after he had helped them win an MLS Cup and was named in the MLS Best XI twice.