On the day that it selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, Atlanta United is set to drop an even bigger bombshell.
A league source has confirmed to ESPN FC that the expansion club is on the verge of signing Paraguay international and Racing Club midfielder Oscar Romero to a Designated Player contract, with a transfer fee in the $6-7 million range.
Paraguayan journalist Andres Rolon was among those to first report the move, with the source saying Romero will be paid a salary in the neighborhood of $2 million per year.
Atlanta has clearly been mining the contacts of manager Tata Martino, who managed Cerro Porteno from 2003-04, as well as Paraguay's national team from 2007-11.
Atlanta recently signed another Paraguayan, winger Miguel Almiron, to a deal, and it now it looks as if his compatriot, Romero, will join him. The two attack-minded players, combined with forward Kenwyne Jones, will give Atlanta a formidable offense right out of the gate as it begins MLS play in 2017.
Romero, 24, began his career with Paraguayan side Cerro Porteno, spending six years with the club's youth teams before making his first team debut in 2011. He spent three years with the Asuncion-based club before joining Argentine side Racing in 2015. At club level, Romero has tallied 29 goals in 191 league and cup appearances.
At international level, Romero has scored twice for Paraguay in 26 appearances.