Rumors are swirling that Mexican national team star Chucky Lozano may soon depart Napoli after helping them win the 2022-23 Serie A title.
Could the winger land in MLS?
The Athletic’s Tom Bogert, who's supremely dialed into the MLS transfer market, said on Extratime the possibility isn’t far-fetched. Bogert said nothing is imminent, but teams are putting in the groundwork on a potential deal.
“Lozano could just re-sign a new contract with Napoli, he could go elsewhere in Europe,” Bogert said. “It's probably more likely that he goes somewhere else in Europe. He’s 27 and he's been a very good player in Europe during his time [there].
“But MLS teams are looking at him. He's the star of the Mexican national team. He would be an awesome signing for any team in this league. You think about the ones that would make sense – Atlanta, LA Galaxy, maybe LAFC, Chicago. They would have the money.”
Lozano would likely occupy a Designated Player spot, similar to other Mexican stars in MLS. He boasts 17 goals in 64 international appearances, plus 113 goals in 383 career club appearances spanning Liga MX’s Pachuca, Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven and Napoli, one of Italy’s top clubs.
As for a potential landing spot for Lozano, who is Toronto FC star Lorenzo Insigne’s former teammate? MLS 360 analyst Sacha Kljestan particularly likes the Atlanta United idea now that Brazilian winger Luiz Araújo has departed for Flamengo, opening a Designated Player spot.
“I just like the replacement for Araújo, thinking of the attack that would be [Giorgos] Giakoumakis, [Thiago] Almada and Chucky Lozano excites me,” Kljestan said. “Maybe you throw Caleb Wiley on that left side to run and that's a pretty fun attack.
“Atlanta still needs some help at center midfield. I think that's their biggest piece, but you think about the spine of that team with that attack, it'd be pretty fun to watch.”
Lozano, should he come to MLS from a top-five European league, would follow in the footsteps of some El Tri teammates. LAFC striker Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), LA Galaxy striker Javier “Chicharito Hernandez” (Sevilla) and Houston Dynamo FC midfielder Héctor Herrera (Atlético Madrid) all took a similar path, leaving behind Spain’s LaLiga before joining MLS.
Might Lozano be next one day?
“He does have one year left on his deal, so this is something where you start putting in the seeds, start letting it be known that MLS and an MLS club would be options for Chucky Lozano when his contract's up,” said Bogert.
Added Bogert: “It'd be an extremely difficult deal to get done, but definitely one where if I was a GM of any team I'd be looking into it if I could.”