Siem de Jong joins FC Cincinnati from Ajax ahead of MLS season

FC Cincinnati have signed Siem de Jong from last season's Champions League semifinalists Ajax on a free transfer.

It is yet to be decided whether De Jong, 31, will join on as a designated player or if he will be added using allocation money. The club will make a final decision before the start of the season.

"We believe Siem will play an important role in adding to the final third and efficiency of our attack," Cincinnati general manager Gerard Nijkamp said.

"Not only does he have an impressive intelligence and skill set, he has also played in some of the most prestigious competitions and has been a leader on and off the pitch throughout his career. We feel he will be a great addition to our club."

The former Newcastle, PSV Eindhoven and Sydney FC player, who also represented Netherlands between 2010 and 2013, will take an international roster spot and be added to the club's squad upon receipt of his international transfer certificate and P1 visa.

"For me, when FC Cincinnati presented their plan of how the club is growing and how they want to build the team here in the upcoming years, I felt this would be a good experience for me," De Jong said. "Hopefully, I can help the club and the players to build something special here."

De Jong's arrival comes as off-pitch turmoil embroils the second-year MLS side. Ron Jans resigned as manager earlier this week amid investigations into his alleged use of a racial slur. In addition, Cincinnati forward Darren Mattocks is facing two felony charges related to insurance fraud.

Cincinnati opens the MLS regular season on March 1 on the road against the New York Red Bulls.