Could 31-year old Ignazio Abate be the answer for the Galaxy’s right back issues?
With just hours left before the league’s Primary Transfer Window closes (May 1, 11:59 PM CT), the LA Galaxy may be searching for a deal.
According to tuttomercatoweb.com on Monday, 31-year old right back, Ignazio Abate may be headed for the Galaxy.
Abate is currently with seventh place Serie A side AC Milan, where he’s been playing since 2009 with over 280 appearances, and reportedly has a contract with the club through 2019. He’s also played in 30 UEFA Champions’ League games with the Italian giants and made 22 appearances with the Italian National Team.
The defender is a once-speedy outside back that defends well and is able to contribute on the offensive side of the ball. He’s recently seen his playing time dip with increased team competition, and, as is true with most aging players, has seen his pace recede.
It seems both the club and player understand it’s time to move on and that arrangements could be in place to move to Southern California.
If the move were to happen, it would reunite Abate with former Milan teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The two played together at San Siro for two seasons from 2010-2012 with the players also sharing the same agent – Mino Raiola.
The Galaxy are particularly thin at right back with the long-term injury to Rolf Feltscher – a torn pectoral muscle that is likely to have him sidelined for four months – and the lack of playing time for Emrah Klimenta. In the Galaxy’s 3-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls over the weekend, Dave Romney filled in for the injured Feltscher while playing away from his usual left back role.
It’s unknown how the Galaxy will open up an International spot (In 2018, a total of 184 international roster spots are divided among the 23 clubs – 8 per club) for Abate if they were to acquire him. With Ibrahimovic’s arrival, the club sent João Pedro on loan with their USL side to open an INTL spot. The same could be done again, but by MLS standards, the loan must be legitimate and injured players don’t fit that bill.
The Galaxy could probably buy or trade for a spot as well.
With the transfer window closing on Tuesday night, and with most reports stating that Abate wouldn’t arrive until Milan’s season is done, a summertime arrival seems inevitable. But perhaps the Galaxy could sign a pre-contract now to get the defender heading in their direction as soon as the season closes in Italy.
Or, perhaps there are ongoing negotiations to try and speed up that arrival.
CoG will update this story as, and if, it progresses.