"Manga" Escobar Signing Would Be Costly, But May Be Worth the Price Tag

Andres Ramiro "Manga" Escobar in action for Deportivo Cali of Colombia's Copa Postobon.

Earlier today, the Brotherly Game identified a report from the Colombian news outlet El Pais that claimed young midfielder/forward Andres Ramiro "Manga" Escobar could be on his way to the Philadelphia Union.

I've dug up a few more tidbits on Escobar from that article and elsewhere. Here's the most interesting snippet from the El Pais report:

Sin entrar en precisiones, el empresario del jugador dijo que en esta negociación se manejaría una cifra "un poco" superior a los números de la operación que llevó a Fabián Castillo al Dallas FC, también de la MLS.

The above quote translates to the following: "Without getting into specifics, the player's agent said that in this negotiation there would need to be a figure "a little bit" higher than the numbers from the deal that brought Fabian Castillo to FC Dallas, also from MLS."

What were those prices that Dallas paid for Castillo? No one knows for sure, with some sources citing a number around $900K in terms of a transfer fee. Whatever the price, Castillo was costly enough to Dallas that he ended up actually counting as a Designated Player. If this report is correct, then "Manga" Escobar would surely end up being the Union's first ever DP. More after the jump, including some tweets from an agent that always seems to be in the know.

The real question becomes whether or not the not-quite-20-year-old forward/winger hybrid would be worth it to the Union, whose offense still has some serious kinks to work out. Here are a few tweets from agent Michael Wheeler, who has clients in MLS and who certainly seems to have insider contacts when it comes to these Colombian players:

Colombian press reporting that Andres Escobar will be sold to . Team is not specified but Nacional's directors onboard 900K = 50% rights

investing in upcoming talent...now the goal is for MLS to develop these players so they can be sold on to Big Four. Hope it can be done

Colombian U20 team underachieved & did not qualify for Olympics, but Escobar had a short but impressionable showing. His agent is quick!

@ Tricky left winger who just started to make a name 4 himself, small, explosive, was a bright spot for underwhelming U20 team
Wheeler seems to be high on Escobar, who does indeed appear to have a very similar track record to Castillo. But Wheeler is citing a price tag of $900K just for half of Escobar's rights, which is probably a similar deal to the one that brought Fredy Montero to Seattle; the Sounders later paid for the other half of Montero's rights and now he's all theirs.

Wheeler also references Escobar's play in the CONMEBOL U-20 Championships, which took place earlier this year. "Manga" played very well in that tournament, which has served as an excellent shop window for many young players, Dallas' Castillo chief among them. But the concern still remains, is Escobar worth this kind of money?

Luckily, we won't have to wait long for the answer, because Friday is transfer deadline day in Major League Soccer. Do you think Nowak, Gutierrez, and the Union will pull the trigger on this young Colombian talent?
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