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Union Hold Informal Talks With Interested Tiro Federal Striker "Beto" Armani

The former Newell's Old Boys striker showed an interest in moving to Major League Soccer during discussions with Philadelphia Union Head Coach John Hackworth and new Director of International Player Development Ricardo Ansaldi.

Drew Hallowell

Strikers seem to grow on trees in Argentina and at least one caught the eye of Philadelphia Union head coach John Hackworth this week.

Hackworth, and newly hired Director of International Player Development Ricardo Ansaldi, talked to Diego Leandro "Beto" Armani, according to Newell's Old Boys website director Pablo Soria. The two Union representatives were on a five day scouting trip of Argentina.

Armani played with the Old Boys for a season in 2008-2009.

"I got information that he had an interest and already had an informal conversation," Soria told the Brotherly Game. "The player is under contract until 2014 but Tiro Federal a debt is held because a conflict with the team's leadership.

"For now he is not playing. This half there is an economic conflict with Federal over the delay in the payment of per diem. He wants to leave in December."

The 28-year-old striker shares an agent, Trans-Atlantic Talent Agency's Olavur Waag Hognesen, with current Real Salt Lake designated player Alvaro Saborio. In addition, Ansaldi has done business with Federal in the past through his time as a soccer team tour director and game organizer.

Armani has scored 114 goals in 228 league games over the course of his career, which started in 2003 with Central Cordoba. He left Argentina for a brief stint with Santa Fe, the former club of Union captain Carlos Valdes, in 2004-2005, before returning to his birth country the following season, once again with Central.

The forward went on to Federal in 2007-2008, before moving to Newell's on loan in 2008-2009. Then Armani returned to Federal during 2009 and has been with the third division club ever since, including the 2010 season when he was the leading scorer of Argentina's second division.