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Updated: Santiago Arzamendia to Atlanta United?

The move doesn’t seem close.

Brazil v Paraguay: Quarterfinal - Copa America Brazil 2019 Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

UPDATE #3: Despite very strong reports out of Paraguay linking Arzemendia with a move to Atlanta, multiple sources have indicated to Dirty South Soccer that a deal is not in place, nor is one close.

UPDATE #2: Welcome back to the neverending Paraguayan saga. Latest reports out of Paraguay suggest that left back Santiago Arzamendia is indeed the player on his way to Atlanta United. The move is being labeled as “imminent” and should be completed after the Olympic qualifying tournament.

UPDATE: Conflicting reports are now saying that Santiago Arzamendia is the player coming to Atlanta. A 22-year-old left back. Let’s see how this plays out.

Atlanta United appear close to making their first big signing of the offseason. Rumors emerged several days ago of the club having strong interest in Paraguayan midfielder Mathias Villasanti from Cerro Porteño. There now seems to be significant progress in the discussions between the two clubs.

According to reports out of Paraguay, the Five Stripes have reached an agreement to sign the 22-year-old midfielder ahead of the upcoming 2020 season.

It is not known how much Atlanta would have to pay Cerro Porteño to complete the transfer. We can assume that with all three Designated Player spots currently filled that it will be a modest sum but not outrageously expensive.

A midfielder, especially one who can go box-to-box like Villasanti can, has been an obvious target for Atlanta United since the departure of Darlington Nagbe at the beginning of the offseason.

If these reports are true and Atlanta has agreed to the transfer fee, all that would remain for the deal to be completed is for the player to travel to the United States, agree to personal terms, pass a medical and sign his contract. Villasanti is currently taking part in Paraguay’s U-23 Olympic Qualifying training camp.

This could complicate matters as CONMEBOL’s Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament spans from January 18-February 9. Atlanta United’s preseason training camp opens on January 11 and their first match of the season against Motagua in the Concacaf Champions League is scheduled to take place on Febuary 18.