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Rumor: LAFC’s Latif Blessing bound for Brazilian club Vasco da Gama?

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Sounds like it’s out of left-field, but who knows.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Los Angeles FC Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a new transfer rumor that is swirling around that is unlike most we see with MLS players. Los Angeles Football Club utilityman Latif Blessing is being linked with a move to Brazilian club Vasco da Gama in the Brazilian press in recent days.

The rumor appears to originate from Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte, which claimed Wednesday the club and player are in negotiations on personal terms but they have to figure out a way for LAFC to let Blessing go. According to the story, Blessing’s wife can’t get a visa to join her husband in the United States, so that is the motivation behind him seeking an exit.

A subsequent Globo Esporte report featuring quotes from Vasco’s president claims the club wants to get Blessing on loan for a year and the president is optimistic a deal will be done.

Vasco is based in Rio de Janeiro and is one of the biggest clubs in Brazil. They haven’t won a major trophy since winning the Rio state championship in 2016, and last season finished in 12th place in the Brazilian Serie A. Since the rumors broke in Brazil, Vasco fans have flooded Blessing’s mentions on social media, encouraging him to join their club.

Normally, a transfer rumor linking a Ghanaian player in MLS to a Brazilian club sounds farfetched, because these kind of transfers basically never happen. So my skepticism was off the charts when I heard this and I initially didn’t even think this was worth writing up.

However, I think there is some plausibility to it. First, representatives from the Brazilian club are talking in the press, and South American transfer sagas tend to get a lot of light shed through the press, this fits that mold.

Second, it is beyond plausible for a player to be unable to get a visa to bring his wife over to the United States right now, and I can see a scenario where Blessing is looking to leave North America as a result.

And LAFC have publicly sought to facilitate some player moves for the players’ personal needs in the past. They transferred Laurent Ciman to France for the sake of his child. Adama Diomande left suddenly this summer with his contract cancelled for unspecified family reasons. So if Blessing wants to leave for his own personal reasons, it is possible.

Now, will it happen? Blessing’s utility means he’s one of the most important players on the team. There’s no other player who can play across all three outfield lines for LAFC at such a high level. Last season, he switched to midfield and was approaching Best XI form in that position.

In addition, how much would Vasco da Gama be willing to spend for Blessing? A loan would probably not make sense financially for LAFC, but again, maybe they would do it in the player’s interest. His transfer value is probably in the $3-5 million range, and I’m skeptical Vasco would pay that much.

I reached out to LAFC for comment on this rumor and as of publication of this story they have not responded.

So for now, it’s a rumor, no big reporters based in the U.S. have latched onto this story. Is it plausible? Yes, more than I originally expected. Will it happen? I’m not sure of that, we’ll have to wait and see. And of course we’ll keep you posted if there are developments to this story.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.