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Rumor: LA Galaxy linked to Peruvian midfielder Renato Tapia

A Schelotto says nice things, but does that mean a signing is coming?

Dutch Eredivisie”Feyenoord v FC Emmen”

The LA Galaxy remain one of the few teams in North America to have occasional transfer rumors trickle through, the latest linking the club to Peruvian midfielder Renato Tapia.

The 24-year-old is set to be out of contract with Dutch club Feyenoord at the end of June, if FIFA doesn’t opt to extend contracts for one reason or another due to the coronavirus.

Tapia has spent his entire first-team pro career in the Netherlands, making his debut with FC Twente in 2013, before moving to Feyenoord in 2016. With a loan spell at Willem II, Tapia hasn’t gotten a ton of playing time at his current club, between injuries and not being in the team’s plans at all times slowing him down to just 45 league appearances with Feyenoord, although he was part of their title-winning side in 2016-17.

With Peru, the midfielder, versatile in the middle of the field and capable of playing in defense in a pinch, too, his career has blossomed, as he was part of the squad that played in the 2018 World Cup and was a key player on the squad that finished second at the 2019 Copa América.

The Galaxy seemed to jump into the fray with LA assistant coach Gustavo Barros Schelotto talking up the Peru international’s merits on a South American radio program recently.

“Renato Tapia is an interesting player (…) I know him from watching soccer because the coaches not only see our own games, we see the games that are interesting in the Copa América, Europe. He is a player who has a lot of experience in European football, but fundamentally beyond experience, he is good and one sees that he’s a good players and at any moment any player like that could come to the club and play,” said Schelotto, as quoted by AS.

Certainly, being on a free would make Tapia very intriguing for the Galaxy, who could probably manage to get him on a sub-Designated Player deal to make it work and help solidify the midfield alongside Jonathan dos Santos.

But, does the player want to come to MLS? Other reports claim that while the Galaxy are interested, the feeling may not be mutual.

One report out of Britain Tuesday claimed Tapia was being pursued by both Celtic and Rangers, as well as Spanish club Real Betis, Liga MX outfit Cruz Azul and Argentine giant Boca Juniors, where the Schelotto twins have considerable history, of course. That report claimed Tapia wanted to stay in Europe to continue his club career.

So we’ll see. Obviously there’s nothing really tangible here, a Galaxy assistant praising a player in public can be a hint or nothing at all, while another report claims the player isn’t interested in coming to California. Club technical director Dennis te Kloese hinted during the “Virtual Town Hall” video last week that there was a transfer target that hadn’t gotten out in the press yet, so maybe he was talking about Tapia, or maybe he was talking about any other player around. We’ll keep you posted if we hear more on this front.

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