ORLANDO, Fla. – FC Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Sunday that the club is considering signing Chilean midfielder Matias Fernandez from Liga MX club Necaxa, but cautioned that a deal isn’t yet done.
It was reported on Sunday by Chilean outlet El Mercurio that Fernandez agreed to a two-year contract with Cincinnati. According to the report, Cincinnati and Necaxa still have to agree to a transfer fee for the 32-year-old playmaker to complete his move to the MLS expansion team.
Fernandez had three goals and two assists in 14 appearances in the 2018 Liga MX Apertura season. The former Villarreal, Sporting Lisbon, Fiorentina and AC Milan midfielder has 14 goals in 74 career caps with the Chilean national team.
“We’re still looking at lots and lots of different options. That’s an option, but it’s certainly not done by any means,” said Koch.
Fernandez would be the first high-profile attacking addition of the offseason for Cincinnati, who have largely focused their signings on the backline, defensive midfielders and box-to-box midfielders thus far this winter. That trajectory has led to some speculation that Cincinnati, who have 21 players under contract, will come out with a defensive tack in 2019. Koch hit back at that notion a bit on Sunday.
“I would say in some games [we’ll play that way], but don’t expect us to play that way in every game,” he said. “I think people think because we’ve signed all the defensive part first, it’s how we’re going to play. Yeah, we will play that way in some games, but in other games we’ll try to go out and impose ourselves against teams we’re playing against.”