It’s been three weeks since Sports Illustrated reported that D.C. United had been in touch with Italy forward Mario Balotelli (plying his trade with Nice in France’s Ligue 1) and Steve Goff reporting that the Black-and-Red had a wish list of marquee players on their wish list that included Balotelli, Chicharito Hernandez, and Carlos Tevez among a list of a half dozen. While nothing appears to be imminent, there is just enough smoke in the air to keep our interest.
A British correspondent for Goal reported Tuesday that, along with Tevez, Spain forward Fernando Torres (currently of Atletico Madrid) had come onto the radar. Like Balotelli, Torres is due to leave Atleti in the summer, and D.C.’s desire for a big (and perhaps free) name in a position of need would presumably garner that type of attention.
The Spanish sports outlet Diario AS continued to stoke the Torres fire, going so far as to say that Torres was even offered as a loan option to Swansea City (which United Managing Partner and CEO Jason Levien has an ownership share in) in the European transfer window last winter, though the two sides were unable to come to an agreement. That came hours before a member of the Tevez camp responded to TYC’s Hernan Sisto by saying that the 34-year-old Tevez doesn’t know of a deal and won't accept any offer, preferring to stay with Boca Juniors:
Pregunte al entorno de Tévez por una posible oferta del DC United: "A nosotros no nos llegó nada, pero en caso de que eso suceda se rechazará, Carlitos se va a quedar en #Boca"— Hernán Sisto (@HernanSisto) May 3, 2018
Assuming that D.C.’s interest in Torres is legitimate, they would first have to make a deal with the Chicago Fire, who hold his MLS Discovery Rights. That’s the easy part; agreeing to whatever terms that Torres commands these days would require meeting a hefty salary requirement. Balotelli may still happen, though with interest from Champions League semifinalist AS Roma, United would have to clear a significant hurdle, something that they couldn’t do with last summer’s pursuit of Gary Medel.
Hernandez is also a possibility, though bringing Chicharito to MLS is a move that a lot of teams would love to pull off. Seattle Sounders General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said that his team is prepared to make an “eight-figure investment” in a player this summer, and that’s the kind of price range Hernandez is probably in. Given that Goff said earlier this week that United made an offer to an unnamed Argentine player, it could also be someone we have no idea about.
All in all, it looks like we’re approaching what could be one crazy summer.