Flags fly as the LA Galaxy took on the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 7, 2019 at Dignity Health Sports Park - Photo by Steve Carrillo

Rumor Tracker: 2021 LA Galaxy

The LA Galaxy get mentioned in rumors every time someone wants to join MLS. We’ll tell you what we know and whether you should believe it.

COG STUDIOS, Calif. — The LA Galaxy are now under new head coach Greg Vanney and, together with general manager Dennis te Kloese, they’re plotting to change the course of a team that has no discernible direction except down.

So how do they rebuild a roster that needs a lot of help? They do it by hunting for the best and brightest outside and inside of Major League Soccer. And this is our totally incomplete attempt at tracking and validating some of the rumors swirling around the Galaxy.

Below, you’ll find our rumor tracker. Ranked with stars for no particular reason, we’ll give you our best guess (sometimes with inside knowledge) about who is on the Galaxy’s radar and what likelihood we give to their possible signing.

With the world constantly putting the Galaxy name in every MLS rumor, we’ll do our best to cut through the absurd and land in the possible.


THIS TRACKER WAS LAST UPDATED ON FEBRUARY 22, 2021


  • 2.22.21 — Weekend updates on Pavon from his lawyers
  • 2.19.21 — Walter Pavon enters the chat
  • 2.18.21 — AM update on Cristian Pavon
  • 2.17.21 — Updated the Cristian Pavon Rumor
  • 2.11.21 — added an update to the Cristian Pavon rumor
  • 2.3.21 — Added Sergio Aguero and Husein Balic to the rumor tracker
  • 2.1.21 — Added CoG Confirmation to Giovinco rumor
  • 1.29.21 – Removed Rojo from the Active Rumor tracker
RUMOR RANKING GUIDE
  • ⭐️ = COLD
  • ⭐️⭐️ = NOT AS COLD
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️ = WARM
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ = HOT
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ = REALLY HOT
RUMOR CHART
NAMEAGEPOSCURRENT CLUBRUMOR RANKING
CRISTIAN PAVON24LWBOCA JUNIORS⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
HUSEIN BALIC24LWLASK⭐️⭐️⭐️
SERGIO AGUERO31FMANCHESTER CITY⭐️
MARCOS ROJO30DMANCHESTER UNITED☠️
SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO33MF/FWDAL-HILAL RIYADH☠️
RUMORS

GALAXY TO RE-SIGN CRISTIAN PAVON: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

UPDATED STORY 2.22.21 — Welcome back to the soap opera that is Cristian Pavon. More news broke on Friday night and carried through this weekend, and you can thank John Rojas for it (side note: John used to sit next to me in the press box and he’s one of the smartest soccer reporters I know).

But this update comes in two sections with Pavon’s lawyers answering John’s questions in different parts.

In the first part they go after the report that Pavon has a travel restrictions placed on him and poke holes in the veracity of the claims provided by the accuser. You can read it below, but basically they’re telling you that Pavon is free to travel anywhere he wants. If he has to relocate permanently, he’ll just need to let the prosecutor know where he’s going to be.

It’s also important to note that Pavon has opened his own case against the accuser. He claims that allegations are false and is countersuing. And his lawyers continue to make the case that he hasn’t been charged in this case at all.

In the second part of these responses you can look at the timeline. Months or years to come to completion on the journey. So if the Galaxy are confident, and they seem to be, this might be a situation that follow hims for his entire career with the Galaxy.

Last we checked the Galaxy haven’t hit pause, and Boca is still deciding on the most recent offer. So that’s where we stand.

COG TAKE: We’re along for the ride with everyone else! If it gets any closer, we’ll let you know!

UPDATED STORY 2.19.21 — Hello Walter Pavon!

Cristian Pavon’s dad has just announced himself with some BIG words targeting Boca Juniors. According to friend-of-the-show John Rojas, the elder Pavon was on a radio show and had some choice words for the storied Argentine club.

Walter accused Boca of not caring, of not monitoring the surgery and recovery of Cristian, and accused them of not getting a deal done despite there being a good deal on the table — he mentioned the $10-million for 50-percent deal that we’ve reported down below.

But really, it’s about Walter Pavon declaring war on Boca and putting even more pressure on the club to get things done.

Via John Rojas on Twitter

There are hints that the Galaxy wanted to talk have the surgery done under their watch and make sure that Cristian recovered well, and that Cristian has been playing in pain for years and this surgery will help him be even more effective. There’s also the little fact that Cristian had 9 bone fragments removed from his ankles. Ouch!

But the biggest revelation is what Walter closed with. “Being honest, any option is better than Boca right now,” Walter said according to Rojas.

Also, we offer one clarification. Rojas had a typo on when Pavon’s contract is up with Boca. Instead of saying June 2021, it should be June 2022. With Pavon able to negotiate a free move in December of 2021 when he could then leave on a free transfer.

We talked about this in-depth on our last Corner of the Galaxy Podcast (LINK).

COG TAKE: Pavon wants out. He’s told the coach, his father has told the world, and now there’s no way for Pavon to stay with Boca. Boca fans have even likened Cristian Pavon to a River player (River Platte is Boca’s biggest rival). The relationship is broken there. Now it’s time for the Galaxy and Boca to get this done. The momentum is there. And if you can put aside the sexual assault allegations (which the Galaxy certainly seem to be doing for reasons only they can explain) then you can get Pavon into the United States and begin his rehab from surgery.

UPDATED STORY 2.18.21 — Yesterday was a busy day. And last night, Cristian Pavon took to Instagram to post a statement from his lawyers. In the statement, his legal team refutes the earlier reports that Pavon had a travel restriction applied to him and says that Pavon hasn’t been charged with a crime and that he has voluntarily been cooperating with investigators.

Being that my Spanish leaves a lot to be desired, and being this was written more in legalese than straight forward Spanish/English a discord member typed it all into Google Translate to get the best idea of what they said (the best idea from a non-Spanish speaker)

However, as is normally the case, that’s not the whole story. According to more reports, the court released a statement this morning addressing the case and in some ways, contradicted what Pavon’s lawyers have put out.

In general the press release does note that Pavon would have to get approval to relocate outside the country — say to the United States to play for the Galaxy — and would have to provide reasoning and motives for such a move.

It doesn’t seem like a high bar to clear for Pavon, should he and Boca agree to a deal with the Galaxy. But there does seem to be some restriction of his movement per the press release.

Are you done with this yet?

COG TAKE: The Galaxy seem very confident in Pavon’s innocence. I don’t expect that anything related to this case will get them to take a step backward. But maybe the surgery and the late start to the season gives everyone a chance to hit pause and take a breath for awhile. Also, I’ve been advised to take most of what is being reported out of Argentina with a giant grain of salt. That goes for leaked negotiations with Boca and much of this legal wrangling.

UPDATED STORY 2.17.21 — We want to update you on two things with regards to Pavon.

First, we want to give you an update from earlier this week (2.16.21). CoG has a source that has indicated that the Galaxy submitted a new offer for Pavon — an updated bid to Boca that follows the swell of reports from last week. This seems to be a new bed. We can’t report any numbers, but the Galaxy seemed confident it was a good deal. This source acknowledges that this is taking a long time to get done.

The second update is from today and pulls Pavon’s sexual assault allegations back into focus. Pavon’s accuser had sought to keep him from traveling abroad. It seems the prosecutor agrees and has issued an order that will keep Pavon in Argentina for the time being. Or, at the very least, he’ll need to get permission from the prosecutor to leave.

He just underwent surgery for ankle fibrosis this morning and is expected to take 2-months to recover. So his immediate travel plans shouldn’t be affected. However, any long-term deal that the Galaxy are thinking of making surely hits the brakes when this news is relayed.

COG TAKE: This seems like a good time to bail for the Galaxy. If you’re still interested in him this summer, come back to the deal after this case has been tried. But if you can’t be 100-percent sure, you shouldn’t be entertaining Boca with offers. The Galaxy can’t become obsessed with him and they shouldn’t be attempting to sign someone with a giant question mark in their past. If they do and get it wrong, multiple people should be fired!

If you’re the LA Galaxy, do you really want your name splashed about at every opportunity when it comes to allegations of sexual assault?

UPDATED STORY (2.11.21) — Rumors are picking up pace. With a new set arriving this morning claiming that the Galaxy and Boca have reached a deal for winger Cristian Pavon.

Reporter Luis Fregossi is saying that both clubs have agreed to sell Pavon for $10-million and a 50% sell-on clause. That would value Pavon at $20M and put the Galaxy star at one of the most expensive players in MLS.

However, a Galaxy source couldn’t confirm the acceptance of the deal. The source stated that an offer for Pavon had been made, but that no agreement had been relayed to the Galaxy. The source said that the Galaxy made a more than fair offer and that they were hopeful it would be accepted.


Reportedly, the deal would include a $10-million. But the offer would be offset by a loan fee return of $600,000 — a contractual clause that stated that Boca would have to return the loan fee if they denied a Galaxy offer. That would make this deal worth $9.4-million in cash from the Galaxy to Boca and would value Pavon at $20-million. A familiar number for Galaxy fans.

The sexual assault allegations remain omnipresent, however. Without a concrete resolution, it’s hard to get too excited about the deal. Without a resolution, the Galaxy are gambling big on a very talented player. If that Gamble doesn’t pay off, it could spell the end for Dennis te Kloese and nearly anyone who allowed this to go forward.

COG TAKE: After a period of silence, it seems this deal could be on the verge of wrapping up. And the discrepancy in timing between Boca’s Board voting to accept the deal, and then instructing the President of the club to call the Galaxy to tell them they’ve accepted the deal, there’s a great chance for some lag in communication. This rumor moves up to a 5-star rumor.

ORIGINAL STORY (1.18.21) — The Cristian Pavon saga is a complex one. Made all the more complex by the sexual assault allegations that were levied at the Boca Juniors winger. Pavon cooperated with authorities and his lawyers have denied all the allegations. But this certainly puts a wrench into already difficult negotiations with Boca.

COG TAKE: We’re going to get right to our analysis. CoG can confirm that as of last Thursday, the Galaxy were still interested in the the 24-year-old Argentine. They are monitoring the situation with regards to the sexual assault allegations and are in no hurry to make a decision with some initial indications that it could be an extortion play.

But the Galaxy are also looking at all their options. They are not married to the idea of needing to sign Pavon and if they find something they’re looking for somewhere else, they will move on it.

With uncertainty surrounding the start of the season due to COVID-19 and the negotiations around the salary cap, expect for their to be a lot of silence around Pavon and his possible return.

We know the Galaxy have talked with Boca. We know they’re interested. But the certainty drops when adding in the assault allegations and a Galaxy-side that can’t afford to get the optics wrong on this.

GALAXY SHOW INTEREST IN WINGER HUSEIN BALIC: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

ORIGINAL STORY (2.3.21) — At last, we have a real rumor.

The LA Galaxy, according to reporter Tom Bogert (a trusted MLS source), are looking at 24-year old Husein Balic. Balic is an Austrian international who can play at any of the attacking positions, but is primarily a left-winger.

In 12 appearances with LASK (who sit in 4th place in the Austrian Bundesliga) he has 12 appearances with two goals and one assist.

As Bogert points out, his nickname is “the sprinter” because of speed up and down the wings. And in case you wanted to know his FIFA speed rating, it would 94 (but who uses such things). And if he’d be coming to play on the wing in his preferred position, he’d likely be pushing Cristian Pavon out of the way.

But with Balic’s ability to play on either wing or in the center, he could be a versatile starter capable of backing up a bunch of different positions. A player like this gives coaches a lot of flexibility with their formations and substitutions and fits in with what COG has been telling you about the Galaxy’s hunt for signings — they’re looking for quality and versatility.

Transfermarkt has him valued at around $2.2-million but that doesn’t exclude him from being signed. He’s a good shout at a TAM signing if the Galaxy could get him on a multi-year contract. And at 24-years-old, he could be with the team for a long time.

Bogert states that no offer has been placed on him yet. But with the Galaxy shopping for midfielders, this might make a ton of sense!

COG TAKE: Nothing is stopping us from saying this has a real chance and the source is good. So let’s sit back and see if this one picks up steam!

GALAXY CHASING AFTER SERGIO AGUERO THIS SUMMER: ⭐️

ORIGINAL STORY (2.3.21) — What are we even doing here? MLS is on the verge of locking out its players and we’re talking about long-shot summer transfers?

You’re right! We’re bored. So let’s talk about why Sergio Aguero to the Galaxy makes sense and then dismiss it at the end as pure and wild speculation… for now.

Aguero is going to be 32 years of age (as of June 2) and is finishing out his contract with English Premier League giants Manchester City. There’s been wild speculation about where he could end up. That could include PSG, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, or Inter Milan — all world class, big name, clubs.

According to this report, the Galaxy are interested in brining in the forward this summer after his contract expires.

Having two strikers is always a good idea, and even if Chicharito blows the doors off the 2021 season, having two goal scorers is better than none. Really, there’s nothing that keeps this rumor from becoming reality except a healthy salary (the article writes this off as a sure thing) and an open Designated Player slot (something the Galaxy already has).

It would mean either passing on Cristian Pavon (which seems more and more likely at this point) or moving another DP during the summer window (can you say, Jonathan dos Santos). All things that are possible.

Aguero’s age would make him a good signing, and his goalscoring record, whether with Atletico Madrid or Manchester City, would make him a big name with big marketing opportunities for a Los Angeles club that loves to tout their big stars.

Having said all that? The salary considerations are a big stumbling block. Aguero is reportedly making close to $315,000 a week, or $16.3-million a year. If the Galaxy halved that amount, he’d be the highest-paid player in the history of the Galaxy and the league — surpassing Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s $7.2-million per year.

So the salary seems like a big stumbling block. And you’d have to imagine those other clubs we mentioned above would be more than capable of signing him for more than $8-million.

But as Aguero’s aged, he’s been picking up more injuries, and his longevity — on a 3-year deal, according to this report — would be a risk.

And we’re sure that the Galaxy wouldn’t be the only MLS team interested. It’s an extremely weak link to the Galaxy with even the most optimistic outlooks. But here we are.

COG TAKE: Sergio Aguero is going to go somewhere. So why not the LA Galaxy? At this point, that’s a reach. But can you absolutely count it out?

OLD RUMORS

MARCOS ROJO TO THE LA GALAXY: ☠️

UPDATED STORY 1.29.21 — It’s dead. Rojo is going to Boca Juniors. We figured that was the case and not it’s done. The only problem is that we’ve only got one active rumor. One. Maybe another one will pop up.

ORIGINAL STORY (1.25.21) — Are the Galaxy looking for a top-tier defender? Some would argue for that, while others don’t see the Galaxy spending any big bucks on a backline that already includes Giancarlo Gonzalez (a TAM Signing).

However, if the Galaxy were looking for someone, a 30-year-old Marcos Rojo might be that guy. The Argentine is apparently ready to leave Manchester United and has his sights set on heading back to Argentina — Boca Juniors to be exact. But reports say that both Getafe (LA Liga) and the Galaxy (MLS) are interested in the center back and may have offered the defender a contract.

With a market value of $6.6M (per Transfermarkt) it’s unlikely he could simply come on a free transfer. But those details seem lost in most of the rumors. For now, it looks like this is another case of the Galaxy’s name being mentioned for every move.

COG TAKE: We’re not part of the crowd that is expecting the Galaxy to sign a splashy center back. And another TAM/DP level guy doesn’t seem to be on the radar. But we’ll watch this one to make sure it stays quiet.

SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO TO THE LA GALAXY: ☠️

UPDATED STORY (2.1.21) — The LA Galaxy are not interested in Sebastian Giovinco. A source, siting Giovinco’s age, and while acknowledging his talent, says the club is not interested in the player and has no formal engagement with him.

This firmly plants the Giovinco rumors in the “dead” category.

UPDATED STORY (1.27.21) — No. We said it would make some sense but that no one was biting in terms of the Galaxy’s interest. We mentioned the questionable sources, but that it was a position of need for the Galaxy. So what do we end up with? This!

Is there any wiggle room in this? Nope. Unless the Galaxy decide that they’re suddenly interested in Giovinco after having not been interested. This rumor dies. It goes away. And no one should mention Giovinco’s name for the rest of 2021. Unless the Galaxy are suddenly interested in him this summer. Should we start that rumor now?

UPDATED STORY (1.25.21) — This story isn’t getting quieter. And maybe that’s a good thing. You can read below about the origins of this rumor, but we’ll upgrade it today to three stars. There’s still a lot that makes sense. And if the reports are true that the arrival of Luciano Vietto to Al Hilal has limited Giovinco’s minutes, then there might be more impetus for the Italian to move.

COG TAKE: The source is certainly a questionable one, so we’re not banking on that information. But to be sure, the fact this is still around gives it some legs. For staying power alone we’ll upgrade this to three stars.

And out of all the rumors, this one still makes the most sense. But with relatively little to go on and no confirmation from the club they’re in talks, it continues to be a hard sell. Plus, will he be a DP or a TAM signing? But it’s Monday and you need something to hope for.

ORIGINAL STORY (1.18.21) — Rumors have linked former MLS MVP and former Toronto FC attacker Sebastian Giovinco with the LA Galaxy. The basis of these rumors seem to hinge on the relationship between Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney and Giovinco.

Giovinco is currently playing in Saudi Arabia. Making a move back to MLS a reasonable step. Giovinco would plug into a central attacking midfielder or second striker role and could be the playmaker the Galaxy have been missing for many years. At 33-years-old he’s a borderline Designated Player (Galaxy have one spot open) or a TAM player. He would not be a long-term signing for the club.

COG TAKE: We have no specific information that links Giovinco to the Galaxy. In fact, most of the information we can gather points to there being nothing to this rumor. But we’re going to provide for two stars just because we feel like this could be something — there’s just nothing.