BLAINE, Minn. — Minnesota United technical director Mark Watson is in Buenos Aires working to acquire Boca Juniors attacking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso, Loons coach Adrian Heath confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 22.
TyC Sports, an Argentine TV station, reported Wednesday morning the Loons have begun negotiations with Reynoso and “threaten to take one of (Boca’s) players,” according to translations from an online story.
“Hopefully in the next couple of days we will have more information,” Heath said.
The Loons are seeking a potential cornerstone playmaking attacker to replace Darwin Quintero, the club’s leading scorer each of the past two seasons. Minnesota traded Quintero and his $2 million-plus salary to Houston Dynamo in November.
Reynoso, 24, is the type of player and age “that we are looking for,” Heath said after the club’s training session in Blaine.
The Loons could fill the last of three high-priced Designated Player slots, and the acquisition of Reynoso would then eclipse current United midfielder Jan Gregus as the club’s most expensive transfer fee.
TyC Sports said Reynoso, who is nicknamed “Bebelo,” will only “come out if the offer is for the sale and exchange for a figure that is irreproachable.” TyC Sports said Reynoso has a contract through June 2022.
“It would depend on what the deal is that gets done,” Heath said of a potential record. “There is still a lot of work to be done. (Watson) is down there, hopefully coming up with something.”
Heath did not rule out a second loan deal for Reynoso on top of the pending arrival of 24-year-old Paraguayan striker Luis Amarilla. That one-year deal, Heath said, is subject to “waiting on a couple bits of paperwork to go through with the league.”
“I would think so down the road,” Heath added on a record signing being forthcoming. “We might have to do a loan with a few because, obviously at the end of the day, they’re not our players and we might have to be dictated to on terms by the selling club. But the caliber of player we are looking at, if we are to bring him in, would certainly be the most we have ever spent on players.”
Heath said one complicating factor is that Boca Juniors, one of the top clubs in South America, is shorthanded in fellow attacking players because of recent injuries.
Heath mentioned a few big-dollar additions in MLS moving the bar this offseason.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez reportedly has come in as MLS’s newest highest-played player with the Los Angeles Galaxy; the Mexican star’s exact salary figure has not been shared. The Vancouver Whitecaps spent up to $6 million in a club-record signing of Canadian striker Lucas Cavallini in December, and D.C. United hit the same benchmark with a $5 million fee for Peruvian midfielder Edison Flores. Heath also mentioned a rumor that an undisclosed MLS club had a $15 million offer turned down.
“If you’re standing still in this league, you are going backwards,” Heath said. “It’s as though everything is ramping up, and we have to be going along with it. But I do have a lot of faith, hopefully we have three to four players to bring in. If we bring the quality of player that we are looking at in to compliment the group that we’ve got, I will be more than pleased.”
Reynoso has one goal and three assists in nine games for Boca Juniors in Argentina’s SuperLiga, according to whoscored.com. The 5-foot-8 player started his career with Talleres de Cordoba, his hometown 400 miles inland from Buenos Aires.