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Don’t expect a speedy resolution to the Cristian Pavón transfer saga

The reasons are myriad.

Boca Juniors v Argentinos Juniors - Copa de la Superliga 2019 Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

Cristian Pavón is reportedly still a transfer target for the LA Galaxy, the player’s loan from Boca Juniors over and the Argentine technically officially back at the club.

But it’s been an eventful week, Pavón being the center of multiple news items. And honestly, this transfer saga is probably not going to be wrapped up in the coming days.

There’s several reasons why:

Transfers with Boca Juniors are interminable

Multiple MLS teams have dealt with Boca Juniors in recent years and every time, they’ve indicated it was a total pain in the butt. Nearly every club in South America is a selling club, and to an extent, so is Boca, but they are also one of the few clubs in the region that also attracts star players and tends to have long-standing relationships with players.

But with South American clubs being accustomed to selling players on, they drive a hard bargain, and Boca are no different in that regard. Don’t be surprised if the negotiation ebbs and flows, the board approves then rejects proposals, because that’s par for the course. That the Galaxy are reportedly back at the negotiating table means Boca know they can turn the screws a little bit longer, although their leverage is also starting to dissipate.

Which brings us to:

Pavón is clearly trying to force an exit, but that doesn’t always work out

Chances are, Pavón wanting to leave and complaining publicly means he will get his way eventually and that will hasten his departure. But!

There’s also a chance that Boca plays real hardball and refuse to budge from a sky-high transfer fee. What’s the worst that happens? Well, they will lose money, of course, but they can also exact some revenge on a player who’s throwing a big tantrum. It’s a big enough tantrum that it just might derail his career, and if he burns his bridges with hot enough fires, then Boca may just be content to let him rot on the bench for a year and a half until his contract runs out.

And if it takes that long? Maybe the Galaxy can’t wait that long (frankly, they really can’t) and maybe they’ll have to move on at a certain point if Boca put their foot down. So it’s a risk!

But wait, there’s also:

He just had double-ankle surgery

Pavón apparently had arthroscopic surgery on both his ankles this week. On one hand, it sounds like a relatively minor procedure and the estimated time out of action is two months, which isn’t very long.

Having said that, there’s a good chance the surgery itself will gum up the works on a move, since he can’t pass a physical right away. One imagines the Galaxy put into the ether that they approved the surgery but it’s still an enormous risk for the team to let him get surgery away from them and see what happens when he’s healed.

On top of that, there has to be a tiny concern that a double ankle surgery puts some doubt in Pavón’s durability in the long run. Obviously soccer players frequently encounter ankle issues, for obvious reasons, and again, on the scale of “minor procedure to he’ll never walk again” this sounds pretty minor, but ankles are a particularly finicky part of the body, albeit one that’s crucial in soccer, and plunking down many millions of dollars on a player who may have emerging persistent ankle issues is another big, big risk. Even so, it won’t block a move by the Galaxy but it could slow down the timing.

Last but not least there’s also:

Possible ongoing legal troubles for the player

Aside from the ankle surgeries and Pavón’s dad badmouthing Boca in the Argentine media this week, there’s also been considerable back-and-forth in the press between local magistrates and Pavón legal team, over a travel restriction while he’s being investigated for sexual abuse.

That the Galaxy reportedly went back and made a fresh offer since the allegations against Pavón first surfaced appears to indicate the club either does not think Pavón committed any wrongdoing or they don’t care (indications in the local press here is that it’s the former). It is obviously conceivable the matter could be wrapped up in short order, or the travel restrictions, which may not be all-that-restrictive, may not prevent Pavón from moving to the United States should a transfer be completed.

Still, the cloud of not only allegations but a potential legal case against the player means it’s possible that could really slow things down. Again, we don’t know how the case will turn out, ultimately, but there’s a chance a deal would get done but something extraordinary could happen, that a travel ban would be put on the player and he would have no timeline on coming to California. Or, he could be ordered to return to Argentina at some point after being approved to move to the United States, as part of a case. At the moment, it’s a mess on that count.


By themselves, any of these factors could lead to a prolonged transfer saga for Pavón, if a deal is eventually reached. That all these things are happening at once indicates it could really be a long and bumpy ride. The primary transfer window in MLS closes on June 1, but it reopens again on July 7. Is there a chance it could drag on that long? Yep. Will it? We’ll see, but either way, I certainly hope it doesn’t.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.