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Rumor: LAFC to sign Josh Perez?

One reporter says it’s happening.

USA U17 v England U17: Nike International Friendlies Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The MLS summer transfer window deadline is Wednesday night, and things are heating up. After signing Danilo Silva and trading for Christian Ramirez, could Los Angeles Football Club be on the verge of making another signing?

That’s the word from reporter Brian Sciaretta on Tuesday, who reported that Fiorentina forward Josh Perez will be joining LAFC.

Perez, 20, is a local, growing up in the Los Angeles area, and comes from considerable soccer pedigree: His father, grandfather and great-grandfather all played for Salvadoran powerhouse FAS, as did his uncle, well-known former U.S. international and U.S. youth international head coach Hugo Perez.

Josh Perez was at one time part of the Chivas USA academy, before moving to Fiorentina, where he spent considerable time in the youth ranks. Finally getting called up to the Serie A club’s first team in 2016, the teenager was unable to break through, making just one appearance before going on loan to third-division side Livorno, where he made 23 appearances last season.

Perez, who played for the U.S. U-17s and U.S. U-20s, including the 2015 U-17 World Cup alongside Christian Pulisic, among others, was long regarded as the top prospect for his age. While Pulisic’s meteoric rise with Borussia Dortmund has eclipsed Perez on the pro level, this is a player who has been thought capable of doing great things for a long time.

In that way, if LAFC do sign him, it’s a bit of a project. Similar to Shaft Brewer, Jr., LAFC could add Perez, give him some time to acclimate, and if it looks like he’s ready for the big time, so be it.

Will it happen? Sciaretta is well connected, but it’s always tough to know if deals like this will get done, and what the exact deal will be. Brewer’s move took several weeks longer than seemingly expected, and if another team has Perez’s rights or a claim on him inside MLS, as was the case with Brewer. Still, as an American Perez wouldn’t take up an international slot, and again, this is a move that on the face of it looks like a low-risk, high-reward move. We’ll see if that’s the case, and if it comes to pass.

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