Do we need further assurance that the New York Red Bulls are about to sign San Lorenzo's Gonzalo Veron? Within hours of reports emerging out of Argentina to the effect that the Argentine winger was being held out of training in advance of a move to RBNY, just about every credible outlet covering MLS or the Red Bulls found a source to confirm (anonymously) that the deal was all but done.
Big Apple Soccer, Empire of Soccer, Sports Illustrated, the New York Post: all sought and found (unnamed) sources willing to verify the news. So we can fairly assume that - barring some catastrophic immigration snafu (love ya, Luke Rodgers - hope all is well) - Veron will be announced as a RBNY player once requisite contractual matters are settled.
Still, if you want a few more signs to point to the general conclusion that Gonzalo Veron will be donning red-and-white shortly, consider the words attributed Matias Lammens, president of San Lorenzo - the selling club in this transaction:
Matías Lammens, sobre Gonzalo Verón: "Tenemos un principio de acuerdo con la MLS, pero para nosotros está hecha (la transferencia)".— ESPN FC Radio (@ESPNFCRadio) July 30, 2015
To paraphrase: "We have a principle in accordance with MLS, but for us it is done."
Lammens is also quoted in the Argentine press talking up the specifics of the proposed deal, because he is the club's president and it sounds like he's done some good negotiating. Per infobae.com (and Google Translate):
"It's an important deal for the club, because he is a player who is not a regular starter and who we bought for $700,000."
The report goes on to explain RBNY is said to have agreed to pay $2.2 million for Veron. San Lorenzo must pass on 10% of the fee to the player's former club, but that still means almost $1.3 million of the money arriving from the Red Bulls can be regarded as profit.
Veron was being hyped as "the new Caniggia" a year or two ago, according to Argentine football journalist Andres Garavaglia - who included the player on a shortlist of possible English Premier League transfer targets at the end of 2013 for Sky Sports.
The comparison to Claudio Caniggia - a legend of Argentine soccer - doesn't quite stand up: Caniggia was a World Cup runner-up by 23 and a Copa America winner at 24. Veron, 25, has yet to be capped by his country. But it is an indication of the sort of player he is (quick and creative), and the sort of achievements that can be had by one with those talents.
In Garavaglia's Sky Sports piece, Lammens is also quoted:
"We are glad to have a player that despite being very young has been recognized as one of the best players in our league. We know that sooner or later he will be eyed by teams from abroad, but while that doesn't happen we want him to keep on enjoying his football."
If San Lorenzo believed Veron had EPL potential at the end of 2013, a move to MLS might be thought to be letting an asset slip away on the cheap. Perhaps that is why Lammens is apparently keen to reveal details: he is showing fans of his club that this transfer is bringing a solid return to San Lorenzo.
And that willingness to discuss the deal in public is also a pretty good indication of the authenticity of the original reports. No transfer is complete until the official announcement, but with free-flowing (anonymous) confirmation from the US-side of the deal and on-the-record discussion of its details coming from San Lorenzo's president: welcome to RBNY, Mr. Veron.
When might we expect to get official confirmation? Word out of Argentina suggests Veron is heading to New York on Friday, July 31:
#SanLorenzo | Gonzalo Verón estará viajando mañana hacia Nueva York, donde continuará los pasos para su fichaje al NY Red Bulls— Nico Berardo (@NicBerardo) July 30, 2015
RBNY has a match to play on Saturday, August 1, so perhaps Monday or Tuesday might be a nice day for a transfer announcement. Empire of Soccer has reported the club is hoping to have the player debut against NYC FC on August 9.