According to reports out of Chile, the Philadelphia Union have made a deal to sign 24-year-old Brazilian forward Sergio Santos. Santos currently plays for Audax Italiano in the Campeonato Scotiabank Primera División, the top division in Chile.
Santos has made 15 league appearances for the La Florida-based club this season, starting 13 times. He’s also appeared in a single Copa Sudamericana game for the club. He’s scored eight times in the Primera División and provided the lone goal for Audax Italiano in their first round loss to Brazilian club Botafogo.
Overall, he made 55 appearances for Audax Italiano since breaking into the first team in the 2014-15 season, and has scored 18 goals in that time, half of which came this past season. Audax Italiano finished 10th out of 16 teams in the Campeonato, with 34 points from 30 games, leaving them six points from the relegation spots and seven points from Copa Sudamericana qualification.
Santos also appeared close to a move to Mexico to join up with Necaxa, but it appears that the Union are the preferred destination for the player.
Necaxa, located in Aguascalientes, had a rough season in the Apertura 2018 after ending their Clausura 2018 with a Copa MX win. They had a solid beginning to the season, winning the Supercopa MX 2018 over Monterrey back in July and also beating Club América in one of the first matches of the season, but everything soon went to pieces, and they fired their manager Marcelo Michel back in October, but it was too little too late to really affect their chances at the Liguilla this term.
If the Union do end up beating a Liga MX club to the signature of a player, even a club with limited resources such as Necaxa, it is a sign that the club might be opening up the purse strings a bit. On average, Liga MX pays better and can attract better quality players than MLS, and so while Santos might not end up being the next great MLS striker, it shows both the economic strength of MLS and the Union.