February 2, 2017
Manchester City recently signed 19-year-old Venezuelan midfielder Yangel Herrera to a four-year contract according to Atlético Venezuela’s official twitter account. The English side has yet to issue a statement acknowledging the move, leading many to wonder what would happen. Immediately after the deal was announced, speculation began to mount as to where he would play. According to a source familiar with the situation it would be unlikely that he would be able to obtain a visa to play in England so a loan was likely.
With Manchester City being owned by City Football Group, rumors began swirling that Manchester City would loan Herrera to another CFG club with both Melbourne City and New York City FC being cited as the likely landing spot for Herrera. Again, it is not known if Manchester City actually signed Herrera, however it is believed City Football Group signed Herrera.
Rubén Villavicencio, the Atlético Venezuela President confirmed the speculation yesterday when he stated, on the En La Cancha radio program, “Yangel, once he’s done with the South American (U-20) tournament, he will come to Venezuela and then he will go to the United States to join New York City FC.”
Herrera is currently playing in the South American U-20 Championship with Venezuela, having advanced to the final knockout round of the tournament in Ecuador. With at least 4 more matches left to play, Herrera would not be able to join NYCFC until mid-February at the earliest, even later if Venezuela advance further or if his work visa takes time to complete.
Patrick Vieira would like to have his entire team together before the team departs to Tucson to compete in the MLS Desert Diamond Cup, with their first match scheduled for February 15th.
Details of the transfer fee have not been confirmed as of yet, with reports out of Venezuela claiming Manchester City paid close to €2 million for the 19-year-old. Transfermarkt lists his value at €400 thousand.
If this move be finalized, NYCFC will have to find yet another international roster spot. As stated previously NYCFC have not stated how many international roster spots they currently hold, however we know they are currently holding a minimum of 9.
Earlier today news broke that NYCFC was targeting 26-year-old defensive midfielder Stephane Badji from R.S.C. Anderlecht for a loan move. It is unclear how that move would be affected by the acquisition of Herrera or vice versa. One thing is definite, following an exodus from midfield in the offseason the NYCFC front office was able to identify this weakness and address it.
You can catch him in action below.