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Unlikely Rumor: Sporting KC Linked to Argentine Attacking Midfielder

We’ll tell you why there is almost surely nothing in this one for Kansas City.

San Lorenzo v Argentinos Juniors - Torneo Liga Profesional 2021 Photo by Jam Media/Getty Images

The secondary transfer window is wide open in Major League Soccer (and the primary one in much of the world), so it’s the season for silly, silly rumors. Sporting Kansas City have already made two signings — William Agada and Erik Thommy — but that doesn’t stop their name popping up in other rumors.

@reportingmls on Twitter — which has less followers than me, which is never a good sign since I cover one team and not the whole league — says that they have exclusive news that 23-year-old Gabriel Florentin has piqued KC’s interest. However, I can’t confirm this with any other sources (they did say exclusive after all), so take it with a massive grain of salt. Maybe this is agent’s feeding stories.

He currently plays for Argentinos Jrs in the Argentina top flight. In his short career he has just five goals and nine assists across 81 professional appearances over 4,859 minutes per Transfermarkt. TM also shows he lines up primarily as an attacking midfielder, a spot that a healthy Gadi Kinda would usually fill and that Erik Thommy was rumored to be signed to play in.

Why This Won’t Happen

In addition to coming in at a spot of less need than say, defensive midfielder, there are numerous other problems.

First, Florentin is under contract through the end of 2026. That almost certainly means a transfer fee would be required to pry him away from his club. Secondly, he’s valued at $2.2 million, so no reason to give him away for free. A fee that large, without a long contract to pro-rate the deal over, would likely make Florentin a Designated Player. The team already has their max of three DPs (Pulido, Kinda, Russell) with only Kinda being able to be bought down. The team cannot have three true DPs since they already have three U-22 players.

Florentin could potentially count as a Young DP, but that would only be for this season as he’ll turn 24 in 2023 and no longer qualify, putting KC in a position to shed either Pulido or Russell to get compliant. That is, unless he’s paid a fairly low salary (so he can be bought down with TAM).

My colleague Mike Kuhn has a good thread breaking most of this down.

As I was writing this, Daniel Sperry also seemed to confirm there was nothing there.

What if KC do make a move? I don’t think it’ll be for an attacking midfielder, but we can all agree it should be for a defensive midfielder, right? What move would you make? Let’s talk about it in the comments.