MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Source: LAFC nearing deal for Colombian forward Cristian Arango

LAFC are nearing a deal to acquire Colombian forward Cristian Arango for around $2.5 million, a source confirmed to Guillermo Arango first reported the news.

The deal isn't yet finalized, but it could get over the line at some point this week.

Arango, 26, is a center forward who's currently leading the lines for Millonarios. He's posted 22 goals and six assists in 58 appearances with the club since joining in 2019. He's twice gone to Europe during his young career, first to join Valencia's B team and then Benfica a few years later. He didn't make a first-team appearance with either club and Benfica still reportedly own a percentage of his rights.

Head coach Bob Bradley didn't deny the reports when asked Tuesday.

“He’s a player we know well, we think he’s a very good player," Bradley told media on a virtual press conference. "We’ll see how the rest of the details are put together.”

The Colombian market is one that LAFC know well. Former MLS forward Juan Pablo Angel is the club's scout in the area, while they have signed center mid Eduard Atuesta and center backs Eddie Segura and Jesus Murillo from the South American country's domestic league.

"We’ve identified the markets that we think are the right fit for us and with our limited resources where we can invest and extract the most value," LAFC co-president and GM John Thorrington told ahead of the 2020 season. "Asia and Africa are slightly different, it’s going to take time. Our inroads in South America wasn’t a light switch, those were put in place years before we started. Now we are identifying and formulating our tactical approach as to how we can start to engage in a more meaningful way in those markets as well.”

Arango would give LAFC a more natural option at center forward, a position in which wingers Corey Baird and Diego Rossi have deputized in recent games.

LAFC have picked up form of late, tied for fourth in the Western Conference standings with 21 points after 13 matches. They have won four of their last five matches after starting the season a bit slowly.