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Report: D.C. United pursuing Estudiantes midfielder Lucas Rodriguez

Could be another case of the Black-and-Red pouncing after Atlanta moved on

A report from Argentina claims that Estudiantes de La Plata are interested in loaning midfielder Lucas Rodriguez out to MLS, and several Argentine reporters are saying that D.C. United has the inside track on the move. Talks are reportedly advanced, with a loan with purchase options in June and December a possibility. Another report claims an offer has been made but that Estudiantes would rather sell Rodriguez outright than send him on loan.

The 21 year old appears to play both centrally and on the left for EDLP, and has appeared in all 15 of their games this season (starting 14). Per Transfermarkt, he has 91 first team appearances, including 12 games in the Copa Libertadores. Rodriguez (nicknamed ‘Titi’) also has experience with the Argentine under-20 national team and started in the 2017 under-20 World Cup.

MLS fans with long memories may recognize his name, as Atlanta United reportedly purchased “priority rights” on Rodriguez last year. If accurate, that would mean Atlanta paid about $1.7 million (or 25% of his estimated value) to have the right to match any other suitor’s bid. It is unclear how (or whether) this would have any impact on D.C.’s interest.

Given the protracted negotiations surrounding Yamil Asad‘s return, and the salary/age status of Zoltan Stieber, and United’s international roster spot situation, it would seem that were Rodriguez to come in, he’d be replacing someone that was here last season. Even if EDLP’s valuation of Rodriguez has lowered (which, by most accounts I’ve seen, it has), his potential could match or possibly surpass Asad’s. Rodriguez is listed as a midfielder but wears the number 9 for EDLP, so maybe there’s a second striker option in the works were we to take fabric that seriously.

In the meantime, let’s sizzle the reels: