A day after D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper told the Washington Post that negotiations with Vélez Sarsfield over midfielder Yamil Asad were ongoing, Asad appeared in a friendly with Los Fortineros against Argentinos Juniors, playing in central midfield in a 2-0 loss.
After the game, Asad appeared on Argentine radio outlet Radio Republica where he discussed playing in MLS and his current options, and this quote tweeted out by one of the hosts stood out:
As of today my head is with Velez. I’ve decided to stay and hope to take advantage of this second chance.
Asad went on to confirm previous reports about a loan offer from Universidad Católica in Chile and another one from Emelec in Ecuador, but said he does not wish to be loaned out anymore, which goes in line to an extent with the current Vélez position that any future move for Asad needs to be a permanent transfer. He also said he wanted to use the experience he had in the United States playing with Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta in 2018 and under Atlanta United manager Tata Martino in 2017 to do well at Vélez.
Assuming that Asad indeed ends up back in Argentina (or anywhere other than the District), the main beneficiary would appear to be Zoltan Stieber. While he has been the subject of trade and transfer talk, he would the strong favorite to receive an increased amount of playing time on the left side while newly acquired Lucas Rodriguez (also from Argentina, also on loan) gets acclimated to MLS play and travel. Asad was a Targeted Allocation Money player in 2018 and that (plus his budget hit) would come off the books, though D.C. still must send $100,000 in both Targeted and General Allocation Money to Atlanta as part of the deal to bring Asad in last year.
There may still be some wiggle room; after all, the interview didn’t explicitly ask about going on a permanent move or on a return to America. Still, on the surface, it sounds like United’s chances of getting him back appear to have been drastically reduced.
Asad’s interview can be found here.