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.
Despite very strong reports out of Paraguay linking Arzamendia to Atlanta, every indication I'm getting stateside is that there is no deal in place, nor is one close. So, take this with a grain of salt for now.— Rob Usry (@RobUsry) January 30, 2020
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.
"Es inminente la transferencia de Santiago Arzamendia al #AtlantaUnited de la MLS, se estaría resolviendo después del pre olímpico"— Mundo Cerro (@mundoCERRO) January 29, 2020
Via: @JorgeRojas73#AdondeSeaConVos @1330am pic.twitter.com/EU9rTJ5Nij
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.
It appears the rumors are of course true that both Arzamendia & Villasanti will leave.. however, new reports have suggested that the roles have been reversed!— Roberto Rojas (@RobertoRojas97) January 6, 2020
It appears at Santiago Arzamendia will be heading to #ATLUTD & not Villasanti (@sentmazulgrana)https://t.co/5OPJx5HSws
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.
A LA MLS | Mathias Villasanti, seguiría su carrera deportiva en el @ATLUTD. ⚫— Señor Fútbol Py (@SrFutbolPy) January 5, 2020
Existe acuerdo para la transferencia del excelente mediocampista 'azulgrana'.
A la tierra donde brilló Miguelito Almirón. pic.twitter.com/IUhhZQLoRd
UPDATE: Sources in Paraguay say Cerro Porteño have agreed on a deal with Mathías Villasanti to send the 22-year-old midfielder to Atlanta United. #ATLUTD— Roberto Rojas (@RobertoRojas97) January 5, 2020
Awaiting just a signature and of course, official word of the transfer.
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.