The Galaxy’s long, complicated romance with Argentina World Cup player Cristian Pavón may be nearing a resolution. The Boca Juniors attacker is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on Sunday to continue negotiations over what is believed to be a short-term loan with an option to buy.
Both sides are working against a deadline to get a deal done since the MLS secondary transfer window closes Wednesday.
Pavón, 23, has fallen out of favor at Boca Juniors and has been a target of the Galaxy all summer. He had success at the Argentine club for two seasons under Guillermo Barros Schelotto, currently the Galaxy coach, and the coach and player seem interested in a reunion.
“There’s still more we have to do. Nothing is finalized,” a Galaxy executive, who is not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing talks, said in response to a direct question.
Pavón, the executive said, is traveling to L.A. to continue the negotiations but the player can “still sign somewhere else.”
Pavón, who can play on a wing or at forward, scored 21 goals and had 24 assists in 80 games in the Argentine first division. Before he could be added to the Galaxy roster, however, the team must acquire an international slot, either by sending a first-team down to its USL affiliate or by trading for one. The team’s eight allotted international spots are already filled.
The team may also have to acquire a significant amount of allocation money since Pavón’s salary is expected to exceed the MLS’ maximum budget charge of $530,000.
An excellent passer who can also play in the middle, Pavón will likely push wide in the Galaxy midfield. He combines well with his strikers — in the Galaxy’s case, that will be Zlatan Ibrahimovic — and is a good dribbler who can hold the ball up and shoot from distance.
Eighteen months ago, he had drawn the interest of major European clubs such as Italy Jvuentus and England’s Arsenal, who were reportedly ready to spend more than $40 million for him.
The addition of Pavón, if it happens, would be a significant step in the roster overhaul undertaken by Schelotto and new general manager Dennis te Kloese. Since the pair joined the Galaxy in January, they have tried to build an aggressive, attacking team with quick, versatile wingers, mirroring the team Schelotto had success with in Argentina. They’ve also tried to give the Galaxy a Latin American flavor, following an MLS trend by adding forward Favio Alvarez of Argentina; midfielders Uriel Antuna (Mexico) and Joe Corona (a U.S. international playing in Mexico) and defenders Diego Polenta (Uruguay) and Giancarlo Gonzalez (Costa Rica).