UPDATE — Monday, 7:45 pm ET: Diego Rossi is finalizing his transfer from LAFC to Fenerbahce and is en route to Europe right now to do a medical and complete the move, the Turkish club announced Monday.
Sources add that the agreed-upon deal is a loan with the expectation to purchase. LAFC are expected to sign a Designated Player this winter, which they didn’t do when Brian Rodriguez was loaned to UD Almeria last offseason. Rodriguez ultimately returned to LAFC this summer instead of moving to the Segunda División club permanently.
Rossi has been a sought-after player for a few years. Sources added that Rossi nearly transferred to Belgium's Club Brugge a few weeks ago in a deal around $8-10 million, though that move ultimately fell through.
Any deal for Rossi would need to be 100% complete by Thursday in order for Fenerbahce to register him for their Europa League squad. They were drawn into a group with Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany), Olympiakos (Greece) and Royal Antwerp (Belgium), who recently acquired US men's national team left back Sam Vines from the Colorado Rapids.
ORIGINAL— Monday, 2:35 pm ET: LAFC are in negotiations with Turkish club Fenerbahce over the transfer of Diego Rossi, a source confirms to MLSsoccer.com.
The news was initially reported by Turkish outlet A Spor and confirmed by ESPN's Jeff Carlisle.
Rossi, 23, is in his fourth season with LAFC after joining ahead of their inaugural season, scoring the club's first-ever MLS goal. He's been stellar from the jump, with 48 goals and 21 assists across 104 career appearances, including picking up the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi in a 2020 season that was shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The winger hasn't quite found his accustomed form in 2021, with a career-low six goals so far after 19 matches. He scored 14 goals in 19 games last year.
The Uruguayan has been the subject of ample transfer interest in the past. MLSsoccer.com revealed over the winter that Reading and a number of English Championship clubs hoped to add him on loan but were rebuffed by LAFC. This summer he was linked with Everton and Tottenham, though no formal bids were reported.
Fenerbahce are one of Turkey's biggest clubs, finishing second in the league last year. They're the in Europa League group stage this season and have several familiar names on their squad, including Mesut Ozil, Enner Valencia and Luiz Gustavo. They've won their three matches in the nascent 2021-22 league campaign thus far.
While most European transfer windows close Sept. 1, Turkey's remains open through Sept. 8. Another wrinkle, though, is the club must submit their Europa League squad list by end of day on Sept. 2, meaning any player signed after that date cannot play in the Europa League until after Jan. 1 when registration re-opens.