Lucas Melano’s exit from Portland has seemed inevitable for some time, but on Saturday previously simmering rumors in Argentina that Melano may be returning to Club Atletico Belgrano, his home club, reached a boil.
#MercadoAXEM— AXEM017 (@AXEMOficial) January 7, 2017
Lucas Melano deja los #PortlandTimbers y vuelve a #Belgrano pic.twitter.com/KmuYns99ni
Lucas Melano, campeón Sudamericana 2013 con #Lanús, muy cerca de regresar a su Belgrano cordobés. https://t.co/eHV56UZ6x2— Martin Macchiavello (@MacchiaTW) January 7, 2017
The majority of the reports have indicated that there is not yet any finalized deal, but that an agreement could be completed shortly.
The reports are further bolstered by Ives Galarcep’s report for Goal.com before the new year that multiple Argentine clubs were pursuing Melano.
Darlington Nagbe move dead after Celtic and Timbers fail to close gap https://t.co/WjhenCE56Q pic.twitter.com/niAkJVk1nR— Goal USA (@GoalUSA) December 27, 2016
Belgrano currently sits 29th out of 30 in Primera Division at the break, and are in need of reinforcements if the Piratas seek to avoid relegation.
Melano started his professional career at Belgrano in Cordoba, Argentina, near Melano’s hometown of Hernando. Melano scored seven goals in 44 league appearances for Belgrano by the age of 20, earning him a transfer to Linus.
The Argentine reports did not indicate whether the move was a transfer or a loan, or the size of any fee involved.
If it materializes, Melano’s exit would clear the way for the Timbers to sign the “high-level DP” that Merritt Paulson hinted at on Twitter on Thursday.
Merritt Paulson: Portland Timbers 'close' to acquiring 'high-level' designated player #RCTID #MLS https://t.co/47UL2iqMkh— Jamie Goldberg (@Jamiebgoldberg) January 6, 2017
The Timbers’ offseason activity certainly appears to be heating up.
UPDATE: Varsky Sports, a major Argentine sports outlet, reports Belgrano has a “tentative agreement” to bring Melano back to Cordoba.
#MercadoDePases #Belgrano llegó a un principio de acuerdo para sumar a Lucas Melano y negocia por Claudio Aquino. pic.twitter.com/BgPcdSrFGY— VarskySports (@VarskySports) January 8, 2017
Melano to Belgrano is looking all the more likely.