Jermaine Jones’s future with the Revolution remains in question, but the team completed a contingency plan Monday.
The Revolution announced the addition of Xavier Kouassi, a defensive midfielder and captain of FC Sion, as a designated player signing, the fifth DP in team history.
“There are definitely discussions, with Jermaine’s representative, and even with Jermaine directly,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “I would say there’s progress, but I don’t know if the deal is done tomorrow. There are other things in play, international opportunities for Jermaine. The conversation is ongoing.”
The Revolution appear to have sent messages to Jones, featured as the team’s DP and central midfield leader the last two seasons, by offering him a contract at a greatly reduced salary, then signing a relatively high-profile central midfielder.
But general manager Mike Burns said: ‘‘We’ve made it very clear, we want him back. But I won’t speculate. We won’t negotiate a contract in the media.”
Jones’s agent, Richard Motzkin, declined to comment Monday.
A source close to the negotiations said the Revolution have not modified their offer, which Jones has said was 20 percent of his original contract, valued at $4.3 million over 18 months.
Jones, preparing with the US national team for Friday’s game against Canada, would have to serve a six-game suspension to begin the season for accosting a referee in last year’s playoffs.
Heaps said Jones’s status is “to be determined. But right now we want to strengthen our group, and Xavier does that.
“We were looking for a ball-winning midfielder, physical, strong, also hard in the tackle. And all of a sudden when we saw him play, it was pretty clear right in front of us what we were seeing.
“He cuts down passing lanes. He drives forward. The game we were watching, he really sat in front of the back four and shielded the center backs.
“I think he’s versatile. Also, you want a player like that to be able to play, and he brings that ability. He can play different scenarios, and he’s not afraid to have the ball at his feet.
“What we’re building here, we’re looking for players to complement players we have, and I think he does that.”
Kouassi is not expected to join the Revolution until July, though he could be released earlier by Sion, which is in sixth place in the Swiss Super League after 18 matches and plays a Europa League elimination series with Braga Feb. 18 and 24.
“We’re trying to build for right now and the future,” Heaps said during a conference call from training camp in Casa Grande, Ariz. “With Scott [Caldwell], Zach [Herivaux], Daigo [Kobayashi], we feel we’re strong there, and we’ve gotten better there with Kouassi.
“[Kouassi] is a piece to fit into the core. It takes time to build a team, and we feel we’ve done that, and we wanted to add a piece to fit into that position, and Kouassi fits into that.”
Kouassi made his only national team appearance for the Ivory Coast in 2011, as a late substitute for Gervinho during a 4-3 win over Israel in Geneva.
Previous Revolution designated players have included forwards Milton Caraglio and Jerry Bengtson and midfielders Shalrie Joseph and Jones.