It may have taken quite a long time, but the Chicago Fire might have gotten their dream deal done after all. They are set to sign Juan Fernando Quintero.
After several years, it seems that the Chicago Fire have finally got their man. According to various reports online, the club are set to sign Colombian midfielder Juan Fernando Quintero. A real statement of intent, this deal shows just how things have changed in the Windy City.
The Fire have chased Quintero for quite a while. Rumors first started circulating back in the summer of 2017 when the player was struggling in his career. Technically at Portuguese powerhouse FC Porto, he had spent the last few years on loan with varying levels of success. He did well back in his native Colombia at Independiente Medellin, which led to several teams pursuing after Quintero when his loan deal expired, one of which was the Fire.
The Chicago Fire, however, deemed him to be too expensive at the time and moved on, but they rekindled their interest at the end of the year. This time, they were willing to pay up. As the weeks went on, they came closer and closer to getting a deal done.
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First, a transfer fee was agreed. Then, reports stated Quintero was open to the idea of coming to the club. The Fire were only moments away from securing the signing that would make them instant MLS Cup contenders, with a number of sources online even confirming the move.
However, at the 11th hour, fans had their hearts broken. Again.
Quintero was only using Chicago as leverage in order to get more money from the team he actually wanted to join, legendary Argentine side River Plate. That deal would be completed soon after. The Colombian then added salt to the Chicago wounds as he scored the winning goal in the Copa Libertadores final against bitter rivals Boca Juniors, immediately enshrining himself as a club hero.
He had stabbed the Chicago Fire in the back, quickly making him enemy number one in the eyes of supporters. However, time heals all wounds, and rumors started to spread once again a few weeks ago linking the club to Quintero. Now, it seems it’s finally happening, which is still major news even if it’s a few years later than expected.
He might be a bit older, but the Colombian is still an excellent player. Best utilized as an attacking midfielder, Quintero shines whenever on the ball. He can dribble past any defender on the planet and isn’t too shabby in the final third either, able to both pick out a killer pass and shoot from distance.
He joins an already talented roster in Chicago. Robert Beric grabbed a goal on his MLS debut, while Gaston Gimenez was incredibly impressive during his cameo in the second game of the season. Then there’s Ignacio Aliseda, who hasn’t even gotten on the field yet. Those are just the Designated Players, who are surrounded by the likes of Alvaro Medran, Djordje Mihailovic, and Przemyslaw Frankowski.
With Quintero’s acquisition, they could now very well become genuine MLS Cup favorites. How head coach Raphael Wicky will be able to fit everyone on the field at once remains to be seen, but it’s a selection headache that many managers could only dream of.
The future is incredibly bright, and Fire fans will now always be able to look back at today’s date as the day everything changed: April 1st. Happy April Fools, Chicago.