The Portland Timbers are looking to strengthen their forward line with the signing of Danish forward Kasper Junker from J-League side Urawa Reds, according to reports.
Gio Savarese already has Felipe Mora and Jaroslaw Niezgoda as options at the No.9 spot but after failing to guide the Timbers to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2016, the Venezuelan is keen to improve his options.
According to a report from MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert, Portland are now pursuing a deal to sign Junker on loan through the 2023 season.
The report states that Junker would command Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), but that he’s not the Timbers’ only option, with the club also considering filling their needs with a Young DP signing. The noise out of Japan is that, one way or another, Junker is expected to leave Urawa.
Despite appearing to be on his way out, Junker has enjoyed some success during his two seasons in Japan. The former Denmark youth international, now 28 years old, has 27 goals and three assists to his name in 62 appearances for Urawa across all competitions, winning the J-League MVP of the Month for May 2021.
Although they’re stacked at the No.9 spot right now, the Timbers will certainly be looking for more production from their current options.
Mora played a huge role in their run to MLS Cup runners-up in 2021, but a knee injury that required surgery restricted him to just seven appearances last season. Niezgoda, meanwhile, has contributed big moments in Portland, but has managed just 20 goals and six assists in 69 appearances across all competitions.
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