Rumors have been circulating for more than a week that Chivas USA midfielder Oswaldo Minda is set to return to Ecuador this transfer window, which opens officially this week. Written reports are now being posted in Latin America about the mooted move, which would see Minda, Chivas USA's only confirmed Designated Player (due to his transfer fee) return to his native Ecuador to play for Barcelona SC.
This article from Vavel looks to have been posted today (Spanish). In it, Minda's quality as a defensive midfielder seems to have been noticed by the front office at Barcelona, and he is rumored to be a transfer target. All of the articles I've seen (and they all seem to be pretty similar) have noted how few minutes Minda is getting for Chivas this season, although of course that's in part been due to injury.
The other part, however, came from the team's reluctance to welcome Minda back during the preseason, as well as Minda's apparent salary dispute with Chivas. Although Minda has returned to the field since those issues were evidently resolved, he has publicly admitted his lack of fitness during those spells led to his injury troubles this season.
If Minda did indeed leave Chivas USA this month, his departure would mark a very costly blow for the Goats. Minda, along with Dan Kennedy, is one of the very best players on the team, and his absence from the lineup this season has resulted in a substantial drop in quality in the center of midfield. Adding to that, if Chivas did sell Minda and did not pick up another quality defensive midfielder this transfer window, their remaining options would be Edgar Mejia (who is not a destroyer like Minda), Marvin Iraheta (who is a destroyer but doesn't have the skill of Minda), and apparently Gabriel Farfan, who has been playing there of late. For a league where quality defensive midfielders are a staple of top teams, essentially going without one, or going without one with the experience and savvy of Minda, would be a massive risk.
Of course, Minda is also perhaps Chivas' best transfer asset, what with his 15 caps for the Ecuadorian national team and successful track record in Ecuador's Serie A. As one of the few players who could command a transfer fee, maybe a possible departure isn't surprising at all.
Still, let's stress that this is definitely still in the "rumor" phase. If we hear developments, we'll pass them along.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!