Back in December, one of the very few credible rumors linking Atlanta United to a Designated Player popped up. ESPN Deportes reported that Mexico international, Marco Fabian, could be headed to the ATL this summer if his first option of joining the Bundesliga fell through.
That rumor died when that Bundesliga move came to fruition. He signed for Eintracht Frankfurt just a few weeks after the rumor emerged and joined them after the winter break. Case closed, right? Not so fast.
It turns out that Fabian's situation has quickly deteriorated in Germany. The club hired a new manager in March amidst a relegation battle and as our friends at Sounder at Heart point out, the Mexican's playing time has all but evaporated. With Frankfurt second from bottom and a strong candidate for the drop and Fabian's minutes low, it's not the biggest stretch to assume that he'll be looking for a new club come the summer.
This is where our speculation antennas pop up. No further rumors have been published linking Fabian to Atlanta United, but stories about possible Designated Players have been virtually non-existent. In most ways it's good that United are great at keeping their dealings close to the vest, but it makes for terrible blog discussion topics. We're not here to disrupt any possible transfer negotiations the club has had or will have, nor do we even think we have that sort of influence. It's a long time between now and January or February or whatever month the club will start looking to sign players. We need something to discuss, so if we have to reach, then so be it.
The Fabian rumor made a lot of sense in December. He's a known player in Mexico and it's no secret that United have a desire to reach the Latin American market. Depending on the transfer fee that Frankfurt would want, it still makes some sense this summer. The report back then stated that Fabian would sign with Atlanta then go on-loan to a European team, likely in Portugal, to pass the time until March 2017. This also makes sense. Any player that the club brings in before January will likely be going out on-loan. The lower tier/role players could join the team's USL affiliate in Charleston while any bigger named players would need to go to Europe, Mexico, or South America to stay match fit.
We're not in the business of manufacturing rumors. This was a legitimate rumor several months ago and now that Fabian has hit hard times, it's at least worth discussing the possibility again now. Especially now that we're getting near a conceivable time frame for Atlanta United to start signing players. We're not saying it will happen, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on over the next few months.