América poised to lock up former Liga MX scoring leader Rodríguez

Jonathan Rodríguez looks certain to return to Liga MX, but Cruz Azul fans will not be happy about it. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Jonathan Rodríguez looks certain to return to Liga MX, but Cruz Azul fans will not be happy about it. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /
Liga MX america cabecita
Former Cruz Azul goleador Jonathan Rodríguez might be playing with América instead of running away from Aguilas defenders if the Liga MX giants have their way. “Cabecita” helped the Cementeros win the Guardianes 2021 title before leaving for Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

Liga MX giant América has not won a league title in four years, an eternity for Aguilas fans (and for ownership, too, for that matter).

A late-season winning streak saved GM Santiago Baños’ job last season, but coach Eduardo Ortiz will need scoring punch up front to end the club’s trophy drought.

Already foiled in bids for Colo Colo starlet Pablo Solari and former Liga MX Golden Boot winner Germán Berterame, América appears close to signing Jonathan Rodríguez, a two-time Liga MX Golden Boot winner.

“Cabecita” led Liga MX in scoring in consecutive seasons (Clausura 2020, Guardianes 2020) and helped Cruz Azul end its 24-year Liga MX title drought (Guardianes 2021) before emigrating to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr.

Unhappy in the Middle East, Rodríguez is eager to return to Mexico and América has the Uruguay international nearly wrapped up, according to Record spots daily.

If “Cabecita” dons the wings of the Eagles, does that mean Federico Viñas is headed across town to Cruz Azul? Well, it’s clear that the slumping Viñas is likely to be sent away this summer and it wouldn’t be a surprise if El Tri forward Henry Martín is also sent packing.

A juicy Viñas-to-Cruz Azul story appears dead in the water, however, as the Cementeros are reluctant to use one of its foreign player roster spots for the burly 23-year-old forward whose career has stagnated after bursting onto the Liga MX scene with the Aguilas three years ago.

Viñas and his agent insist he’d rather stick with “Los AzulCremas” but his desire to remain in Mexico City might keep the Cruz Azul rumors alive.

To date, the Aguilas have finalized just one deal ahead of the Apertura 2022, acquiring Mexico defender Néstor Araujo, repatriating him from La Liga’s Celta de Vigo. The addition of Araujo will allow América to jettison veteran defender Bruno Valdez, opening yet another spot on its roster for a foreigner.

Baños has less than two weeks until the Aguilas kick off their season by hosting reigning Liga MX champions Atlas on July 2, although the transfer window remains open until Sept. 5

Elsewhere across Liga MX

Up in Aguascalientes, youngsters Brayan Garnica (Atlas) and Jesús Godínez (Guadalajara) are the newest members of coach Jaime Lozano’s Necaxa squad.

Garnica, 26, saw little action as Atlas claimed a second straight Liga MX title and he will hope to revive his career with “Los Electricistas.” Godínez, a journeyman already at just 25, joins Necaxa on loan from Guadalajara, the fourth time the lanky forward has been loaned out by the Chivas.

The Rayos have also acquired defender Daniel Parra (Monterrey), Edgar Méndez, defender Pablo Segovia (Puebla), and Olympic bronze medalist Jesús Esquivel (FC Juárez).

Going out the door were leading scorer Rodrigo Aguirre (sold to Monterrey), midfielders Fernando González (sold to Chivas), Alan Medina (loan deal expired) and Alonso Escoboza (loan deal expired).

In addition, winger Luis García was sent out on loan to Puebla and young fullback Idekel Domínguez was sold to two-time Liga MX champion Atlas.

The Zorros would love nothing more than to become the first Liga MX franchise to three-peat since the short-season format was instituted in 1996. In that vein, the Atlas front office is working on a deal to bring in Peru international Edison Flores to add spark to its midfield.

Flores was held out of the DC United’s Sunday night game as negotiations were allegedly quite advanced.

Next. Toluca stocks up with former champs. dark

Flores would likely fill the hole left by winger Jairo Torres who left the Zorros before the Liga MX playoffs for MLS side Chicago Fire.