The MLS offseason thus far for Atlanta United has been...an interesting one.
Heading into the upcoming Concacaf Champions League knockout rounds and their 2020 MLS regular season campaign, the Five Stripes have parted ways with several key contributors and fan favorites. Julian Gressel is now a member of D.C. United after a blockbuster trade following a very public contract dispute. Darlington Nagbe is back with old friend Caleb Porter at Columbus Crew SC. Lenandro Gonzlalez Pirez is off to Liga MX. Tito Villalba went home to Paraguay. You get the idea.
Needless to say, Darren Eales and Co. are dealing with what feels like the most roster turnover the organization has experienced in its MLS existence, but the reinforcements may not be too far behind. Offseason rumors abound linking the club to international players who could be potential replacements. Here's a look at a few of them, including a new addition to the mix:
Manuel Castro (Estudiantes)
The latest player linked to the Five Stripes is Castro, a 24-year-old Uruguayan winger.
According to a Sunday report from Infocielo.com, Castro has seen his minutes diminished in Argentina, leaving him keen for a change of scenery. He's only made nine appearances for Estudiantes, netting one goal, but prior to that Castro displayed some dynamic traits during a six-season stint with Montevideo Wanderers FC in his native Uruguay, scoring 17 goals in 76 appearances.
If a fresh start in MLS turns out to be what he needs to recapture that form, he could make for a nice fit.
Santiago Arzamendia (Cerro Porteno)
On the defensive side of the ball, Arzamendia is the most recent name linked to Atlanta.
The 22-year-old left back currently suits up for Paraguayan side Cerro Poteno. The defender has established himself has a regular starter, and seems to have broken through on the international level, with seven senior caps for Paraguay that he racked up all in 2019.
He also just wrapped up Olympic qualifying duty with his country's Under-23 national team, reportedly the last hurdle that needed to be cleared for Cerro Poteno to begin negotiations with potential suitors for his services.
Matheus Rossetto (Atletico Paranaense)
Currently with Atletico Paranaense in his native Brazil, Rossetto's move to Atlanta is imminent, according to this report from Brazilian outlet Tretis.
The 23-year-old attacker only made 10 appearances last season, so a change of scenery where he can compete for more minutes would seem to benefit both sides.
According to Tretis, the deal has been approved by the Brazilian club's president and the player has been training separately from the team while he waits for the move to become finalized, although it remains to be seen if that actually comes to fruition.
Mathias Villasanti (Cerro Porteno)
The void left by Gressel and LGP has garnered the most discussion this offseason, but Nagbe won't be easy to replace.
However, Villasanti's skillset would seem to fit the bill, and the 23-year-old was linked to Atlanta by Paraguayan journalist Juanma Figueredo earlier this offseason. Another Cerro Potento product, Villasanti has four goals in 49 appearances and also has a pair of senior caps for the Paraguayan national team.
Thus far, however, there have been no public updates on this front since the initial report.