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Matías Arezo close to joining NYCFC: Report

NYCFC are reportedly close to signing the prolific 21-year-old Uruguayan striker from Granada in Spain's La Liga.

Swapping Granada red for New York City blue? Photo: Arezo's Instagram.

Matías Arezo, a 21-year-old Uruguayan striker with Granada CF in Spain’s La Liga, is reportedly close to becoming another New York City FC attacking reinforcement.

César Luis Merlo, transfer market insider who has accurately reported numerous other NYCFC signings, says Arezo-to-New York City is close to a done deal.

Translation of that César Luis Merlo tweet says that NYCFC is “close” to closing Arezo’s transfer, and that the young center-forward would join on a contract through December 2028, despite interest from Argentinian giants River Plate.

The Uruguayan striker would move from his parent club Granada, but he earned this transfer in part by putting up some absurd goalscoring numbers while out on loan last season. Playing in his native Uruguay for CA Penãrol, Arezo bagged 22 goals and added four assists in 40 appearances across all competitions for the Primera División club.

Arezo was one of the first players linked with a rumored transfer to NYCFC when the MLS offseason began. Readers of our oft-updated offseason NYCFC Transfer Tracker might remember mention of Arezo being pursued by NYCFC as far back as October 31, but Arezo seemed like a longshot target.

He had a number of other clubs reportedly competing for him—César Luis Merlo mentioned River Plate, but he was also linked with Orlando City SC in MLS and Grêmio in Brazil. His loan to Peñarol ended at the end of December 2023 and he’d gone back to Granada and has actually appeared off the bench as a late-second-half substitute in each of their last two La Liga matches on January 3 and January 13. Arezo actually had a late equalizing goal disallowed for offside during Granada’s 1-0 loss away to Real Betis, his most recent appearance for the Spanish club.

While Arezo could have seemed destined to be elsewhere, either signed to a bigger club or kept as part of Granada’s plans, it also seemed like NYCFC were looking in another direction at striker. That’s due to how advanced the talks reportedly are around City Football Group signing 18-year-old striker Jovan Mijatović from Red Star Belgrade and loaning him to New York City.

Instead, it now looks like Arezo is the one imminently NYCFC-bound, with the club set to invest even more in improving an attack that struggled mightily in 2023.

New York City’s attacking line could now look very different in 2024. Fellow striker Mijatović has already been mentioned and might still arrive, and there are also multiple reports saying 19-year-old Argentine winger Agustín “Trapito” Ojeda is on the verge of joining NYCFC, while Hannes Wolf has already officially signed on.

Arezo’s potential arrival might also be connected to continuing reports that link Talles Magno with a transfer from NYCFC to Bologna FC in Italy’s Serie A. Gianluca Di Marzio recently shared fresh word of Bologna’s continued interest and NYCFC’s reported €20 million asking price, with Bologna hoping to instead pay between €13-€14 million for the 21-year-old Brazilian.

The NYCFC transfer rumors have seemed to reach their peak as the 2024 MLS season is just about one month away from kicking off.