Former Chicago Fire homegrown star Djordje Mihailovic could be returning to his hometown team in 2024, sources say. Mihailovic made 73 appearances for the Fire during his four-year stay with the first team and was a part of the last Fire team to make the playoffs in 2017.
The 24-year-old is currently with AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie, a team he joined in a reported $6 million move from CF Montréal, and the potential return home is primarily motivated by family reasons.
Of course, there is lots of uncertainty regarding what the Fire will look like next season: Georg Heitz’s contract situation is still up in the air, there is no new head coach lined up, and both Xherdan Shaqiri and Brian Gutiérrez are still under contract as players in similar positions. Nonetheless, a Mihailovic reunion would be a great building block for 2024 and something for the new coach to build around.
After leaving Chicago in a blockbuster trade at the end of 2020, Mihailovic went to Montréal, where he was one of MLS’ leading players and an MVP candidate in both of his two seasons. During his time in Canada, the attacking midfielder recorded an impressive 13 goals and 22 assists and guided Wilfried Nancy’s team to a deep playoff run in 2022.
Negotiations between clubs for the Fire’s potential new addition have not yet started, as the 2023 season is not yet over. There are also a lot of decisions that need to be made, including the returns of sporting director Georg Heitz and technical director Sebastian Pelzer, which are expected but not yet confirmed.
Mihailovic has made eight appearances this season for AZ, scoring one goal and adding one assist. He also added two goals and three assists in the CONCACAF Gold Cup over the summer for the U.S. Men’s National Team.