Scattershooting during the FIFA break: Liga MX transfer news

Marcelo Flores has left Arsenal to play with the Liga MX champs. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marcelo Flores has left Arsenal to play with the Liga MX champs. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /
Liga MX Sept FIFA break
Jesus “Tecatito” Corona has returned to Liga MX after 10 years in Europe. The 30-year-old has joined Monterrey in hopes of regaining his form after an injury-plagued season with Sevilla and enjoy one last hurrah with El Tri. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images) /

Liga MX is on hiatus as national teams around the world convene to play friendlies, World Cup qualifiers and Euro 2024 group stage matches.

For its part, El Tri has been in training camp since Monday and will face Australia on Saturday and Uzbekistan on Tuesday.

The international activity does not mean Liga MX clubs have been dormant.

In fact, a pair of significant acquisitions deserve mention as do a few other negotiations, rumors and arrivals ahead of the Sept. 13 deadline for transfers.

Tigres corral another ingenue

After repatriating winger Diego Lainez, 23, earlier this year, Tigres has pulled off another major coup (although quite a few pundits lament the fact that promising youngsters have returned to Liga MX with their tails between their legs).

Be that as it may, the acquisition of one-time teen sensation Marcelo Flores is a big deal.

Flores, still only 19, was being scouted by Canada, England and Mexico as he came up through the Arsenal academy. The precocious playmaker attracted attention while with the Gunners’ U-21 team, but his career track veered off-course during a loan-out to Real Oviedo.

Injuries and sub-par play took the luster off the Canadian-born Flores and despite a brief appearance at Arsenal’s pre-season camp, it was apparent he was going to be farmed out again.

There was hope he’d revive his trajectory and eventually become a star with Mikel Arteta’s youthful side, but that all changed this past week with the bombshell report that Tigres had convinced Flores to join the reigning Liga MX champions.

Flores arrived in Monterrey on Thursday night and is expected to sign a four-year deal to play alongside André-Pierre Gignac, Lainez and the rest of the star-studded line-up.

Another youth star will soon debut in Liga MX

Guadalajara has been desperate to fill a gaping hole at the point of attack, limited by the fact that they only hire Mexican nationals.

Well, now general manager Fernando Hierro might have found the solution in Europe.

Teun Wilke, 21 – born in Querétaro of Dutch parents – has been playing in Europe the past four years, beginning his journey with Herenveen. In 2021, Wilke signed a contract with Italy’s SPAL where he played in the club’s academy team.

A year later, the striker was loaned out to Belgium’s Cercel Brugge where he scored 11 goals in 17 games during the 2022-23 season. Even so, SPAL declined to renew his contract.

Over the summer, Club América sounded out the youngster but was unable to convince him to migrate to Liga MX. The Chivas, however, had better luck and the 6’2” forward is now a member of the “Rebaño Sagrado,” albeit signed by the club’s farm team, CD Tapatío (reigning champs of second division Ascenso MX).

Wilke has played five games for Team Mexico, but in youth divisions and should he thrive in Guadalajara, he can expect garner attention from the El Tri coaching staff.

Tijuana desperate to find a spark

Languishing near the bottom of the Liga MX table, the Xolos have been searching for some youth up front to generate offense.

Tijuana management went all in on Chilean wunderkind Jordhy Thompson who had been tearing it up with Colo Colo. Though progress was limited, Xolos negotiators persisted … until the 19-year-old winger’s disciplinary issues returned to the forefront.

Word leaked out on Tuesday that Thompson had been punished by the Chilean giants for yet another (unspecified) violation of team rules. While now it seems that Colo Colo is looking for ways to rid themselves of the talented playmaker, Tijuana appears to have backed out of talks.

The Xolos didn’t waste time in moving on to their next target, however, and one-time phenom Efraín Álvarez is now in Tijuana’s crosshairs.

Álvarez is a member of MLS side LA Galaxy and was once lauded as “MLS’ greatest talent” by none other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic, his then-Galaxy teammate, El Tri fans figured it was only a matter of time before the Los Angeles-born Álvarez would be starring for El Tri and some club in Europe.

Instead, now it seems that the 21-year-old might soon be plying his trade in Liga MX. The Galaxy had become disillusioned with Álvarez’s lack of development and, after five years in MLS, he has been sold outright to Tijuana. It might not be long before Miguel Herrera gives the left-footed playmaker his Liga MX debut … if Herrera is still the Xolos coach, that is.

‘Tecatito’ returns to his roots

After a decade in Europe, winger Jesús Corona is back in Liga MX with his original club, Monterrey.

“Tecatito” started his European adventure with FC Twente in the Eredivisie before spending seven years with FC Porto, earning Liga Primeira Player of the Year recognition after the 2019-20 season.

The Sonora native became a regular fixture at winger with El Tri and was seen as vital to Mexico’s chances at the 2022 World Cup. Unfortunately, after a January 2022 trade to Sevilla, Corona’s luck ran out.

During training camp that summer, “Tecatito” suffered a broken leg that kept him out of the World Cup, and when his recovery did not go as smoothly as hoped, the Spanish club decided to cut their losses and put the 30-year-old on the market.

Next. América holds on to win testy 'Junior Classic'. dark

The Rayados leaped at the chance to repatriate their prodigal son – especially as injuries have decimated the club’s front line – and Corona signed a three-year contract this week. “Tecatito” arrived in Monterrey this week and was training with his new teammates on Friday.