Minnesota United is near acquiring Argentine striker Ramon Abila, a former teammate of Loons star Emanuel Reynoso when both played for their famed Boca Juniors club.
Buenos Aires media reported Abila, 31, will be loaned to the Loons until season's end in December, with an option to buy his rights after that. A source with knowledge of the negotiations called a deal "close," but not yet final.
Known in Argentina as "Wanchope," Abila joined Boca Juniors in 2017 and last played a game in January, going 84 minutes before he was subbed out. According to reports, he underwent groin surgery after that but has since recovered.
Abila would fill a notable need at striker after Luis Amarilla returned to play in Ecuador after last season. Abila has scored 36 goals in 83 games with Boca Juniors and won three titles while he played there.
He is signed through June 2022 and the web site Transfermarkt lists his current market value at $4.62 million.
Loons coach Adrian Heath recently said the team also seeks a left-side attacker to replace star Kevin Molino, who signed as a free agent with Columbus Crew during the offseason. The current transfer window extends to June 1, but Heath said he was hopeful his team could fill those positions while the team trains in Orlando.
The Loons leave Tuesday afternoon to train in Florida for two weeks before their April 16 season opener at Seattle.
In other news:
- Loons Romain Metanire, Jan Gregus, Robin Lod, Jukka Raitala and Dayne St. Clair – as well as Olympic qualifiers Hassani Dotson and Callum Montgomery in Mexico – all have been recalled to their respective national teams for various World Cup and other qualifiers that will be played next week.
- After a long search, the Loons have placed midfielder Thomas Chacon on loan in his native Uruguay with Liverpool in that country's first division so he can play games and regain confidence.