The Colorado Rapids' long pursuit of Panamanian national team striker Gabriel Torres looks to be coming to its conclusion.
On Wednesday night, the Rapids announced on their official website that the 24-year-old center forward was expected to fly to Denver to engage in negotiations with the MLS club.
Earlier Wednesday, the club that owns Torres' rights, San Francisco FC of Panama, announced via Twitter that Torres was set to become a Colorado player, then followed it up on their website:
OFICIAL: GABRIEL TORRES SERA JUGADOR DEL COLORADO RAPIDS DE LA MLS— San Francisco F.C. (@SanFraFC) August 7, 2013
Rapids president Tim Hinchey told MLSsoccer.com that the contract had not been signed as of mid-afternoon Wednesday.
“It’s a very delicate situation,” Rapids technical director Bravo said earlier in the day, before the club announced Torres was on his way to Colorado. “We continue to try and work to find a solution with his situation, but right now we’re just kind of in a holding pattern. We’ve made our pitch and have left on the table, and we’ll see if we can get something done in time.”
Any deal involving the young striker needs to be completed by the end of MLS’ international transfer window on Thursday.
Torres, who starred for Los Canaleros in the recently completed CONCACAF Gold Cup, has been a rumored target for the Rapids over the past month, but has also drawn interest from clubs in Mexico, South American and Europe. If the Rapids have, indeed, signed him, Torres reportedly would be the club's first-ever Designated Player.
The Panama City native has come into his own over the past two years, when he became a fixture for both the Panamanian national team as well as Zamora FC, where he has been on loan the past two years. San Francisco currently hold his rights, though he hasn't played for them since 2011.
Colorado are second in the Western Conference standings on 35 points, though their 30 goals are the bottom of the Western playoff pack.
Additional reporting by Chris Bianchi.