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Report: European, Liga MX clubs pursuing D.C. United’s Paul Arriola

One of United’s key players may have some suitors abroad

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at D.C. United Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

D.C. United winger Paul Arriola, one of the club’s most vital players, may be the subject of the Black-and-Red’s next international transfer saga. A report from CBS Sports’ Roger Gonzalez says that European and Mexican clubs are interested in the 24-year-old Californian.

Arriola came to MLS in 2017’s summer transfer window after some success with Club Tijuana in Liga MX, and for the wealthier clubs in that league, Arriola’s potential transfer fee would certainly not be out of the question.

Gonzalez also notes that clubs in the United Kingdom could be among the suitors, which is an interesting qualifier. English clubs could certainly afford Arriola, provided he meets the work permit requirements (mainly appearing in 75% of the USMNT’s games over a two-year period). The UK also includes Scotland, though generally speaking that’s not the kind of move you see from United States starters in 2019.

Arriola arrived in the District looking to take on a bigger role after being a member of the supporting cast with Tijuana. While there were not instant results on a miserable 2017 squad, Arriola had 7 goals and 8 assists in 2018, and thus far this season has 4 goals and 2 assists in 18 appearances. There is solid evidence that his presence in an attacking position has been a major key for United all year long, as their record is undeniably better with the versatile Arriola playing as a winger.

Gonzalez teased the initial report by calling the interest “big-time,” indicating that, no matter where the clubs happen to be, the interest is significant. With Luciano Acosta also linked to a possible departure, United may have to balance Arriola’s ambitions and their own willingness to sell (they’ve been open to such moves in the past) against the possibility that their attack would need major acquisitions. A move in this transfer window — which closes on August 7 — would be particularly hard to cope with, as there is likely nowhere near enough time to identify and sign a suitable replacement.