A report surfaced on Monday evening that Columbus Crew SC has made a contract offer to 26-year-old midfielder Rafael Longuine. The Brazilian is currently with Santos, but his contract expires on May 1. Santos has reportedly offered a new deal to re-sign him, but both sides are still negotiating with the salary as the sticking point.
Longuine has bounced around in his young career. He started out at the lower tier Brazilian club Comercial in 2010 with a brief loan to Inter Bebedouro in 2011. He then transferred to Austrian club LASK Linz in 2012, staying for one season, before coming back to Comercial. He then played for Rio Branco in 2013 and Red Bull Brazil in 2014.
He finally broke through in 2015 with Audax with eight goals in 15 appearances. His excellent form earned him a transfer to Santos later that year. He’s made 18 Serie A appearances and scored twice in his three years with the Brazilian giants.
Longuine has played attacking midfield throughout his career, but can also play on either wing. Like many of Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter’s targets, the Brazilian can play any of those three attacking midfield positions in the 4-2-3-1. Columbus doesn’t have a natural backup to current playmaker Federico Higuain and the club may be targeting Longuine as depth or as a long term replacement.
The MLS transfer window closes on May 8, but Crew SC can sign a free transfer like Longuine past the close of the window as long as he is out of contract by the May 8 close.