In a bid to bolster their meager attack, the San Jose Earthquakes have set their sights on FC Krasnodar attacking midfielder Mauricio Pereyra, according to multiple league sources.
One source said if a deal is consummated, Pereyra would arrive when the summer transfer window opens in July. The current transfer window closes on May 8.
The 27-year-old would seem to fit the profile of other acquisitions made by Quakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli, in that the Uruguayan is under 30 and can play multiple positions. During the current campaign, Pereyra has played on either side of a three-man midfield for the Russian Premier League club, though he mostly lined up on the right.
Pereyra has spent the last five seasons with Krasnodar, scoring 30 goals in 129 league and cup appearances. Pereyra started out his career in his native Uruguay with Nacional before moving to Argentine side Lanus in 2011, where he was a teammate of current Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri.
At international level, Pereyra has yet to make an appearance with Uruguay's senior team but did play for Uruguay at the 2009 Under-20 World Cup.
If San Jose is successful in landing Pereyra, he would be a welcome addition to an attack that has averaged just one goal per game this season, tied for 18th in the 22-team league. Only the Colorado Rapids have averaged fewer goals per game than the Quakes. While San Jose ranks third in the league in chances created per game with 10.22, its mark of 1.16 expected goals per game ranks 15th.
In other news, former Quakes forward Steven Lenhart, who had been playing with Japanese fourth-tier side FC Imabari, announced his retirement because of a head injury and further risk of a concussion.
Lenhart had spent the last six seasons with San Jose but missed all of the past two years with knee injuries.