Real Salt Lake are in talks with U.S. national team left back George Bello for a possible contract, sources involved in the deal tell The Athletic. The sources were granted anonymity as they’re not authorized to discuss negotiations publicly. Here’s what you need to know:
- No agreement has been reached yet. Bello, who has seven caps with the USMNT, is considering offers from Europe as well.
- He’s a free agent after leaving German club Arminia Bielefeld this summer following back-to-back relegations.
- RSL sit fourth in the Western Conference with 30 points after 21 matches.
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
Why is this happening now?
Bello is looking to get back on track, and a move to RSL could provide regular minutes to continue his development. Before signing with Bielefeld for a reported $2 million transfer fee, Cercle Brugge had a $3.75 million transfer offer accepted by Atlanta. To potentially get a 21-year-old international on a free transfer would be a shrewd piece of business for whoever gets a deal done.
Real Salt Lake are amid a busy summer before the transfer window even opens. The club already splurged a club-record $6 million fee to sign forward Chicho Arango from CF Pachuca and midfielder Nelson Palacio from Atletico Nacional for around $2 million.
Bello, 21, broke through the academy of Atlanta United and was a highly-rated young talent in MLS, making 59 first team appearances with Atlanta before transferring to Bielefeld in January 2021.
The move to Germany did not go to plan, with the club relegated from the Bundesliga after Bello’s first half-season then Bielefeld were relegated again from the German second tier to 3. Liga this season. He made only eight starts over a season and a half in Germany.
(Photo: Thomas F. Starke / Getty Images)