TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Report
Atlanta United are days removed from being knocked out of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, but that hasn't stopped them from hitting the ground running in their preparations for 2018, if reports out of Argentina are to be believed.
Prominent Argentine sports outlet TyC Sports reports that Atlanta are in "very advanced negotiations" with 22-year-old Franco Escobar, who currently plays at one of Atlanta manager Tata Martino's former clubs, Newell's Old Boys.
Argentine journalist Gonzalo Perez Benitez reports that the deal would be for three years for around $1 million:
According to the TyC Sports report, Martino has been eying Escobar as a potential addition to the squad since the end of last year. Escobar can play both center back and left back. He has made 33 league appearances for Newell's since his debut in 2015, but has yet to appear in a game in the 2017-18 Superliga Argentina season.
If he signs, Escobar would join Atlanta's already-strong contingent of South Americans playing under former Argentina and Paraguay national team coach Martino. Many of those players have found success in Atlanta's inaugural season, with playmaker Miguel Almiron a finalist for the 2017 Landon Donovan MLS MVP award, and he and forward Josef Martinez making the finalists list for the 2017 Newcomer of the Year award. Wingers Yamil Asad and Hector Villalba have also found great success under Martino, while Carlos Carmona and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez have been key players in Atlanta's defensive setup.