Transfer Tracker

Reports: Houston Dynamo could sell Mauro Manotas, find replacement in Uruguay

Mauro Manotas - arms open - celebration

In good times and bad, Mauro Manotas has always produced goals for the Houston Dynamo, making him a frequent subject of credible transfer chatter. With Houston swooping for Darwin Quintero this offseason, talk of Manotas' departure appears more serious this time as the European winter transfer window opens, with the chatter this time coming out of France's Ligue 1.

A report from French outlet Fut-Sur7 indicates Nantes, Montpellier and Saint Etienne are all in the running for Manotas, with Montpellier perhaps favored since the club president has told RMC Sports there is already an offer for an unidentified attacker on the table. Other reports out of France also reflect similar Ligue 1 interest.

Manotas has 48 goals in his last 120 league appearances, hitting the double-digit mark in each of the past three seasons for the Dynamo. His estimated transfer value of $4.5 million, according to Transfermarkt, would put the 24-year-old Colombian in the price range of Nantes, according to Fut-Sur7.

Meanwhile, Uruguayan journalist Martin Ferreira tweeted that the Dynamo could be interested in Nacional's Brian Ocampo, which would make sense if Manotas is sold.

The 20-year-old Ocampo scored three goals in the past Uruguayan season after pushing into the first team on a more regular basis in his second pro season. If he comes to MLS, Ocampo would follow a growing trend of his countrymen testing MLS waters. Seattle's Nicolas Lodeiro, and LAFC's duo of Diego Rossi and Brian Rodriguez are among those to make major MLS inroads.

Of note, Ferreira says Ocampo is favored by new Dynamo manager Tab Ramos. The former US national team standout player and later youth manager was born in Uruguay before moving to the US with his family as an 11-year-old.

Similar to Manotas, Ocampo would seem to represent a signing with an eye toward development. Manotas failed to score in his first half-season in Houston and didn't really become a regular until his second full year at BBVA Stadium.