The Colorado Rapids are pushing to acquire Columbus Crew SC center back Lalas Abubakar on a permanent basis in a move that could exceed $1 million in allocation money, according to Pro Soccer USA.

Abubakar was loaned from Columbus to Colorado on May 8 for $125,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, only to carve out a key role at the Western Conference club. The Ghanaian, 24, started 22 games as the Rapids climbed out of an 0-9-2 hole to start the year.

He was acquired after Colorado parted ways with head coach Anthony Hudson, then helped the club finish 12-7-4 under interim coach Conor Casey and current manager Robin Fraser. They narrowly missed the 2019 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, though were in contention until a Decision Day presented by AT&T finale against LAFC.

Abubakar entered MLS in 2017 as the SuperDraft's No. 5 overall selection. He went on to make 31 appearances with the Crew, mainly under head coach Gregg Berhalter. When Berhalter left to manage the US men’s national team, he found a decreased role under Caleb Porter. 

Should the move materialize, it’d rival when Ike Opara went from Sporting Kansas City to Minnesota United last winter for $900,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. The 2017 MLS Defender of the Year has been a pillar in Minnesota’s first playoff berth.