Sources told MLSsoccer.com that even though Asad returned to Argentine club Velez Sarsfield following the expiration of his loan to Atlanta at the end of the 2017 season, the Five Stripes still hold his MLS rights. A league spokesman confirmed that to MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday.
To sign him, any MLS team would have to not only work out a loan or transfer with Velez Sarsfield, but also complete a trade with Atlanta for Asad’s league rights, further driving up his total acquisition cost.
Atlanta acquired Asad on a season-long loan from Velez Sarsfield last January. He had an excellent year for the expansion club, scoring the first goal in club history and recording seven goals and 13 assists in 32 regular season appearances.
The sources said that Atlanta made an offer to acquire the 23-year-old permanently from Velez Sarsfield following the season and discussed individual terms with Asad. The sources didn’t know if Velez Sarsfield accepted the bid and Asad turned down a contract, or if Velez rejected the bid and killed the transfer outright. Regardless, the discussions were enough for Atlanta to maintain Asad’s MLS rights.
While they hold his rights, it’s unlikely Atlanta bring him back following their failed attempt earlier this winter and after they landed 18-year-old Argentine super-teen Ezequiel Barco last week.
There doesn’t appear to be a future for Asad in Atlanta, but at least one other MLS team has expressed interest in the attacker, with the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Andy Greder reporting last week that Minnesota were pursuing the winger. A source confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that the Loons were interested in Asad, but said on Wednesday that a deal now looks unlikely following the club’s initial inquiries.
No other interest has been reported as of now, but if any team ever wants to bring Asad back to MLS, they’ll have to go through both his Argentine club and Atlanta to get him.