An interesting bit of MLS transfer gossip came out of Spain on Wednesday, when it was reported that soon-to-be relegated La Liga club UD Las Palmas rejected a $12 million transfer offer from an MLS team for Argentine forward Sergio Araujo.
According to a source with knowledge of the proposed deal, the report is only partially true. The source told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday that an MLS team did indeed bid for Araujo prior to the close of the Primary Transfer Window on Tuesday night, but they only offered Las Palmas $4 million, not the $12 million quoted in Wednesday’s report.
The source would not say which MLS team made the offer, but did say it’s possible that the team would attempt to sign Araujo when the Secondary Transfer Window opens in July.
A different Spanish outlet reported on Thursday that the LA Galaxy were the team that made the $12 million offer cited in the initial report. MLSsoccer.com's source couldn't confirm or deny that report, but said the Galaxy were not the club that made the $4 million offer and that they do not hold Araujo's MLS discovery rights. With three Designated Players and two strikers signed using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) already on their roster, signing Araujo at that price would seem impossible for LA without a DP leaving the club.
A former Argentine youth international, the 26-year-old Araujo has been on loan to AEK Athens for the better part of the last 18 months. He was initially sent to the Greek club in January 2017, recording nine goals and six assists in 21 matches across all competitions before returning to Las Palmas last summer.
He played two La Liga games this season before the Canary Islands club again loaned him to AEK in August. He’s recorded 13 goals and five assists in 37 games in all competitions this season, helping AEK clinch the Superleague title and secure a spot in the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League.
Araujo began his career with Argentine club Boca Juniors and was loaned to Barcelona B in Spain, Argentine club Tigre and Las Palmas before he transferred to Las Palmas in August 2015. He represented Argentina on the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels.
Las Palmas are currently in 19th in La Liga. Though they have three games left in their season, their relegation to La Liga 2 has already been sealed.