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Despite rumors, Fire won't pursue Mexican star Pardo

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Gastón Puerari’s transfer to Mexican side Club Atlas on Wednesday left the Chicago Fire with an empty roster spot, and it’s one technical director and interim head coach Frank Klopas intends on filling.

But that spot won’t be filled by Pável Pardo.

Two sources close to the team told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday that the Fire aren’t interested in signing the 34-year-old former Mexican international, whose contract with Club América recently expired. A report in the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday linked the Fire to Pardo and indicated that the club would sign him as a Designated Player.

Klopas did not confirm Thursday whether or not the Fire have interest in Pardo, but indicated any new player must be “the right guy that’s going to make our team better.”

“Pável is a good player,” Klopas said. “He’s a quality player and we’re looking at many different options. We’re going to make a selection that we think is best suited for our team now and in the future.”

Klopas gave a firmer answer regarding Argentine midfielder Sebastián Grazzini, telling reporters that the Fire are indeed looking at the All Boys attacker, who was linked to the Fire by an Argentine report on Wednesday night.

“He’s one of many players that we’re looking at,” Klopas said. “There are a few; we just got to make a decision. I’m sure you’ll find out soon enough.”

Klopas also said that Atlas first contacted the Fire about acquiring Puerari last week. Mexican reports said that new Atlas head coach Rubén Omar Romano wanted to sign Puerari while Romano was head coach at Mexican club Santos Laguna this winter.

"When we brought him here, there was some interest because the coach was from a different team," Klopas said. "When [the coach] moved to Atlas, I think it was about a week ago that they contacted us.” 

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at sam.h.stejskal@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.