Real Salt Lake are in pursuit of Independiente midfielder Jonathan Menendez, sources have confirmed to ESPN, with one source saying they are “optimistic” a deal for the Argentine player will get done.
South American outlet CaiMiLocura was the first to report the news, stating that one offer has RSL paying $1.3 million for 50% of Menendez’s rights.
A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed that amount, but added that RSL wants upwards of 75% of Menendez’s rights.
The source cautioned that negotiations are ongoing, and that a complicating factor is when Menendez would be able to arrive in Salt Lake. Independiente remain alive to qualify for the the knockout stages of the 2021 Copa de la Liga Profesional, with the final of that competition planned for May 30.
Menendez also has reportedly tested positive for the the coronavirus last week, and would need to pass a heart screening before finalizing a move to make sure there is no long term damage from contracting the virus.
The MLS primary transfer window closes on June 1.
Menendez, 27, has been contracted with Independiente since 2018, but has been loaned out twice during that time, once with Qatari side Al-Rayyan and later with Tallares. He has also played previously with Chacarita Juniors, where he began his professional career in 2010, as well as Sevilla FC‘s reserve team. In the current campaign with Independiente, he has two goals in nine matches.
Real Salt Lake has been active in the transfer market of late, despite MLS’s demand that owner Dell Loy Hansen sell the team. RSL’s recent reinforcements include U.S. internationals Bobby Wood and Rubio Rubin, as well as Anderson Julio — on loan from Liga MX side Atletico San Luis — who scored twice in RSL’s season-opening 2-1 win over Minnesota United FC last weekend.