UPDATE: It looks like Barcelona SC has accepted the Sounders offer and that Xavier Arreaga will be in Seattle as soon as Wednesday.
I am told Xavier Arreaga will be flying towards Seattle tomorrow morning and could be officially presented on Thursday. We'll wait for official word from #SoundersFC.— Niko Moreno (@ELROLONW) May 7, 2019
ORIGINAL REPORT: Two separate sources with knowledge of the potential deal have informed Sounder at Heart that the initial reports linking Seattle to Barcelona de Guayaquil center back Xavier Arreaga are accurate. The 24-year-old defender is considered one of Ecuador’s rising stars, after being named the league’s defender of the year and now being considered for the national team.
Although my latest source has emphasized, “Both clubs are yet to agree to terms and therefore there is nothing certain for now”, it appears the Sounders have a serious offer on the table for Arreaga.
The move makes sense in several ways. He could be considered an insurance policy to protect the team from any Chad Marshall injury, the uncertainty of Roman Torres’ future or it can simply be looked at as a way of adding some youth to the position (which is probably the oldest on the team).
Arreaga is a player I’ve had on my list as potential TAM signing for some time, because of the need, price range and a confirmed Sounders presence in Ecuador. Early this year I’m told the player was intrigued by a possible move to MLS as he is familiar with the league, and that it would take approximately $1.3 million to get Barcelona to let him go. At this point I have not gotten an update on the money aspect.
The 6-foot centerback has the ability to play either side of the position, is known to be an aggressive, physical defender, and has good speed to close down space. Arreaga does have room to improve, particularly on his long-range passing, according to the intel I’ve gathered. As of this morning, Radio Diblu FM reporter Nicolas Rivera tells me Arreaga was practicing with “El Equipo Torrero”, continuing his normal regimen, but he expects the young defender’s situation to be resolved within the day. The Sounders have until 10 PM Seattle time tonight to finalize the move or it would need to wait until the summer.
Considering that Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey mentioned a few weeks back a deal could get done last minute if the right player would come along, I expect this to be finalized with some suspense and close to the final hours of the transfer window.