UPDATE #2, Jan. 5: It now appears that Atlanta's deal is for Santiago Arzamendia, rather than Villasanti. Stay tuned for more updates.
UPDATE #1, Jan. 5: BeIN Sports' Roberto Rojas tweeted the deal for Mathias Villasanti has been agreed upon. All that awaits is the midfielder's signature and official word from Atlanta United.
TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Reports
Media reports out of Paraguay relayed by BeIN Sports' Roberto Rojas have a Paraguayan duo from Cerro Porteno arriving soon in MLS, though at separate clubs.
Midfielder Mathias Villasanti is most likely expected to land at Atlanta United. The potential purchasing club for defender Santiago Arzamendia is not yet known.
News in Paraguay saying that the transfers of both Santiago Arzamendia & Mathias Villasanti from Cerro Porteño are practically closed with all accounts saying that both players are heading to #MLS with a total transfer fee of $7 million. #ATLUTD still favorite for Villasanti. https://t.co/fPvR3SOBGt— Roberto Rojas (@RobertoRojas97) January 4, 2020
The potential moves, which first bubbled up in Paraguayan media before Christmas, would continue a trend of Paraguayans testing MLS waters in general and Atlanta in particular.
More recently, those reports say deals for each 22-year-old are nearly finalized, for a combined transfer haul of around $7 million.
Villasanti spent the 2018 Paraguayan campaign on loan to Sporting Luqueno, then returned to Cerro Portento where he made 36 league appearances in a 2019 season that saw the club finish third. Most often playing a No. 8 role, he would be a candidate to fill some of the void left when Darlington Nagbe was traded to Columbus Crew SC.
Meanwhile, Arzamendia has been a regular in Cerro Porteno's league setup the last two seasons while also making 17 appearances — and scoring two goals — in the last two years of Copa Libertadores competition.
Former Atlanta playmaker Miguel Almiron was the creative force behind that side's 2018 MLS Cup run, and winger Hector Villalba also continues to be a regular fixture at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Elsewhere, Portland's Cristhian Paredes and the Red Bulls' Kaku are among MLS-based players that have been in the Paraguay national team fold.