Andres Ramiro "Manga" Escobarvia celebrates after a Deportivo Cali goal. (Courtesy of http://www.frenteradicalusa.com)
Andres Ramiro "Manga" Escobar was once again a transfer target of the Philadelphia Union, according to Italian news outlet Il Secolo XIX.
The 20-year-old Colombian winger originally popped up on the Union's radar when reports out of Colombia placed Philadelphia and the Portland Timbers as possible landing spots for the under-20 international, back during the 2011 MLS preseason. A $900,000 transfer fee - for 50 perecent ownership - was bandied about, making him more expensive than Fabian Castillo's move to FC Dallas and most likely the reason for why a move to the USA never materialized.
Ill Secolo XIX says that the Union tried again for Escobar in late June, but the price of his transfer fee went up, probably due to his current form for the Colombian under-20 team, and the teams bidding for "Manga" were some bigger names in Europe. Portugese giants Benfica supposedly put down an offer of $2.5 million (1.7 million euros) and were rejected, while Italian club Genoa was able to come to terms with the player but could not secure his rights from Deportivo Cali.
Multiple articles out of Colombia have quoted Cali's manager as saying that Escobar will be with the team at least until January, ruling out a sale during the 2011 summer transfer window.