According to a report out of Portugal, Orlando City is the favorite to land Benfica and Argentinian international winger Franco Cervi. The report from Portugal-based Bruno Andrade in A Bola states that Cervi is headed to the United States and the 26-year-old’s most likely landing spot is Orlando City, with FC Dallas also in the mix.
However, The Mane Land has learned that Orlando City is not in the mix for Cervi and that a possible team of interest is the LA Galaxy. Further, we do not expect the Lions to make a big splash in this transfer window. The club does have some needs it wants to address, primarily a left fullback, a wing player, a depth center back, a potential backup for Mauricio Pereyra, and maybe a striker if the right deal came along. There is a Designated Player slot open for the club, but that could end up going to a player who was on a TAM-level deal in 2020.
While the Lions could use a winger, Cervi primarily plays on the left and I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but Nani isn’t being replaced and he’s not moving over to the right to displace Chris Mueller either. Further, Cervi’s value per Transfermarkt is 7 million Euros. Anything remotely close to that price tag would be prohibitive for a backup, so either Nani or Mueller would become a bench player.
Cervi is an intriguing option. At Benfica since 2016, he has made 156 appearances, tallying 20 goals and 26 assists across all competitions. He was capped four times by Argentina (all in 2018) and has one senior international goal.
What it Means for Orlando
Ultimately, we’re confident in our sources that this move isn’t being seriously considered by Orlando City at this time, so it doesn’t mean much. While Cervi would probably be a nice addition and fill a need, he won’t be cheap and doesn’t fit the profile for the type of player the Lions have been targeting.
I would expect another loan-with-an-option-to-buy-type signing as we’ve seen in the past. The Lions still want to see what they’ve got in Alexander Alvarado, who showed flashes in his few brief appearances in 2020.
Cervi would no doubt help Orlando City if a deal got done, but this particular puzzle piece doesn’t seem to fit properly.