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Is Darren Eales in France for more than just Euro 2016?

Connecting the dots on more Atlanta United chatter

Leeds United v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Atlanta United president Darren Eales is in France for the the Euros this week.

He had a chance to see two of his former players.

Could there be more on Eales’ agenda while he is in France?

Emmanuel Merceron has experience with FC Nantes and the Montreal Impact in sales, and now works for a real-time customer engagement business called iAdvize in Nantes, France.

The player he mentions is Adryan, a 21 year old Brazilian who spent the last season on loan to FC Nantes in Ligue 1. Playing in 30 games in all competitions, Adryan scored seven goals and had two assists while playing primarily as an attacking central midfielder.

He was loaned to Nantes by Flamengo in Brazil. His loan ends on June 30 and the two clubs have been negotiating a possible transfer. Flamengo is reportedly asking for nearly $4 million as a transfer fee.

In Merceron’s tweets, he mentions that Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates has made an offer for Adryan. He also mentions interest from two MLS clubs, with Atlanta United being the only club named. Merceron clarified that no offer has been made from Atlanta, only that they are interested after Adryan’s agents offered him to MLS.

Prior to his breakout season with Nantes, Adryan was on loan to Leeds United. The 2014-15 season was not as successful, with him only making 13 appearances for them. Sadly, he is probably best remembered during his time at Leeds for this bizarre bit of play acting. He also spent a short stint at Cagliari in Serie A after playing 37 games for Flamengo.

He made his debut at Flamengo as a 17 year old in 2012. He scored three goals in the South American U17 Championship with Brazil in 2011 and followed that up with two more goals in the 2011 U17 World Cup. He later made appearances with the Brazilian U20’s.

As a player, he is often compared to Brazilian legend Zico and current Orlando City star Kaká. He typically plays as a #10, but can play as a second striker or winger. He can score goals as well as setting up opportunities for others.

Take a look at a recent highlight video:

This one is one of the more peculiar rumors Atlanta United has been connected to, but it is worth observing. The next step for Adryan’s career is Nantes making their final decision on the price tag Flamengo has placed on him. If they decline, then either a loan or transfer could become possible.