Luciano Vietto screenshot from the Hat-Trick video embedded below (apologies for the quality)
Argentinian teenager Luciano Vietto, currently playing for Argentina's U-20's and Buenos Aries team Racing Club, may be the Sounders' latest target, presumably as a Youth DP. He has reportedly drawn some interest from Europe, and has some impressive highlights on his resume. The Sounders may be in a bidding war with CSKA Moscow to sign the small forward.
It emerged on Twitter this afternoon that the Seattle Sounders are targeting Luciano Vietto, with at least one person reporting that the deal has already been closed. Credit to Tim Duggan (@exSlacker) as apparently the first Sounders fan to find these reports. The first report comes from Juan Cocciolo, co-Producer of La Ultima Palabra (The Last Word) on Fox Sports:
Finalmente, Luciano Vietto de #racing cerró con el Seattle Sounders de la MLS— Juan Cocciolo (@JuanCoccolo) January 10, 2013
Translated: "Finally, Luciano Vietto of Racing closes with Seattle Sounders of MLS." However, that tweet may have been deleted, and Juan Cocciolo followed it up with:
Google translated the second one roughly as: "I wonder x Vietto, still not sure, the player does not like that destination. What is certain is Farina CSKA Moscow # mercadodepases # Racing."
This would align with another report that the Sounders may be in a bidding war with CSKA Moscow (EDIT: It appears that CSKA is going after Farina, a different player, not Vietto):
Google: "# Final2013 | In # Racing # offer from CSKA (Russia) of € 5MM for 90% of pass Fariña and one from Seattle Sounders of MLS # Vietto."
Luciano Vietto is a small, (apparently 5'6"-ish), creative forward. He is currently playing for Argentina's U-20 team in South America's U-20 Championships. Tim Vickery of BBC Sport mentioned Vietto as a player to watch for Argentina in the Championships. There have been various reports linking him to interested European clubs, including Real Madrid (rumored to have offered €8m ($10.7m), PSG, and Liverpool. One source says that Racing values Vietto at £4m ($6.5m). Transfermarkt.co.uk values him slightly higher. The reports that these European teams were seeking him all came from last fall, and it has been quiet since then. It is unclear whether they weren't willing to pay what Racing wanted, or if they simply lost interest.
If these reports are accurate, especially the ones regarding a bidding war with CSKA Moscow, Vietto would certainly be a youth DP. Because Vietto is younger than 20, his cap hit would be $150,000, a savings of more than $200,000 from Fredy Montero's cap hit. He would most likely slot into Montero's vacated withdrawn forward position, and may have to fight for a starting position there with Mario Martinez, depending on how Sigi wants to use his guys.
Vietto certainly has his share of highlights. He gained some fame when he scored a hat trick last year against San Martín, and just today scored a nice goal for Argentina's U-20 side against Paraguay. Both videos are embedded below.
This would be the Sounders' second new signing of the offseason, after it was announced today they signed RB DeAndre Yedlin as their first Home Grown Player. Of course, it might turn out that there was little to these Vietto rumors, as it is still developing, but it is interesting nonetheless.
(Additional hat tip to Colin Lamont (@chamberiECS) who found some of this info)