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Brazilian interest in Léo Chú resurfaces

CAP is the latest club apparently exploring the possibility of a transfer.

Last Updated
1 min read
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

This offseason, Léo Chú was reasonably close to joining Brazilian giants Fluminense. Although nothing ultimately became of that interest — and despite Chú struggling with injuries that have limited him to less than 400 minutes this year — interest in Brazil apparently remains strong.

Club Athletico Paranaense — colloquially known as CAP — is apparently one of several Brazilian clubs interested in potentially bringing in Chú this summer, according to Tiago Brandão, coincidentally the same reporter who broke news of Fluminense’s interest.

Despite limited minutes, Chú has been reasonably productive for the Sounders with a goal and two assists (.70 goal contributions per 90 minutes). That includes a nice assist against Minnesota United on Saturday.

In the offseason, Fluminense reportedly offered about $4 million, but the Sounders were likely looking for closer to $5 million, which would allow them to convert part of the fee into General Allocation Money. To get GAM from a transfer, a team must turn a profit by recouping not only their initial investment but any off-cap salary they paid the player. In this case, that’s the $2.5 million transfer fee the Sounders initially paid, Gremio’s 20% sell-on and about $1 million in salary.

It’s unclear if the Sounders’ thinking about Chú has changed. On one hand, any seven-figure transfer could theoretically be used to pay a transfer fee and the Sounders have the salary cap space to add another U22 player. At the same time, a new U22 signing is unlikely to exceed Chú’s production level, at least in the short term. For the Sounders to make a needle-moving change, they either need an injection of capital or a corresponding move that would allow them to sign a more senior-level player.