Minnesota United’s slumping striker Luis Amarilla has been linked in a possible return to Ecuadorian club Liga de Quito.
The news site Bolavip said Wednesday, via a Spanish translation, that Liga de Quito is in negotiations with the Loons for Amarilla to come back to the Ecuadorian club.
This report coincides with the Loons being in the market for a new striker once the summer transfer window open July 5, the Pioneer Press understands. The club seeks a forward with a proven goal-scoring record, and that acquisition would come with a bigger price tag.
Meanwhile, Amarilla occupies one of the Loons’ three Designated Player spots, and one of those three DP slots would need to be open to bring in the type of player MNUFC is believed to be targeting this summer.
Amarilla signed a two-year contract going into the 2022 season, with two club options for 2024 and ’25 seasons, meaning his deal can expire after this season. Amarilla receives $810,000 in guaranteed compensation in 2023, according to the MLS Players’ Association.
Amarilla has not scored an open-play goal in 652 minutes for United this season. The Paraguyan’s two goals both came on penalty kicks and he appears to be having a crisis of confidence in front of goal; he is underperforming his expected goals (3.1, per fbref.com).
Amarilla played for Liga de Quito in 2021 after his loan with MNUFC ran out in 2020. Amarilla was then sold from parent club Velez Sarsfield to the Loons in 2022, where he scored nine goals and had four assists in 2,349 MLS minutes.
The Loons paid a transfer fee of roughly $1.4 million to Velez for Amarilla last year. Amarilla scored 16 goals in 1,830 minuets for Ecuadorian club Universidad Catolica in 2019 before coming to MNUFC. He had two goals in 432 minutes for the Loons in 2020 while he battled injuries.