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Could Eduard Atuesta depart for Palmeiras this summer?

Breaking down the transfer rumor that rumbles on.

Portland Timbers v Los Angeles FC Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Update: Thanks to @JGFutbol10 on Twitter, they’ve clarified the Brazilian transfer window closes on May 23, so Atuesta could therefore depart anytime between now and then if LAFC sell him.

There’s been bubbling speculation for a few weeks now connecting LAFC midfielder Eduard Atuesta to Brazilian club Palmeiras, and that pursuit appears to be ongoing.

Atuesta is expected to be out of contract at the end of this year, so LAFC have entered a critical point with the player. He could opt to re-sign with the black-and-gold, he could wait until his contract runs out and sign anywhere in the world as a free agent, or LAFC could sell him soon, on an expiring contract.

While it appears the Brazilian transfer window closed on Mar. 31 will close on May 23, it appears Palmeiras are still pursuing the player but don’t want to pay LAFC’s $4 million asking price, per the LA Times’ Kevin Baxter on Thursday.

Baxter is a credible source, but frankly, time is running out for LAFC to cash in on Atuesta if he will leave. In the summer, Atuesta can sign a pre-contract agreement with six months left on his current deal with LAFC with any team abroad, and then join that club on a free transfer in January.

And so if you see the $4 million valuation for Atuesta and think it’s way too low, in a sense, it is, but that’s because LAFC are losing their leverage. If Atuesta re-signs, they can jack Atuesta’s price up to $8-15 million, more where his market value probably is, but on an expiring contract? There’s a legitimate chance Palmeiras will just wait until LAFC blinks for a cheaper price, or just wait until January for the midfielder to get him for nothing.

So the bottom line is Atuesta looks like he could start the season with LAFC, and could either leave anytime or after the season. This story is likely not going anywhere. Stay tuned.

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