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Coffee with the Caps, Friday April 23

MLS: Portland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Good Friday morning Caps fans — hope you all are gearing up for a relaxing weekend, featuring a good, old-fashioned Canadian derby.

But it is Vancouver’s transfer dealings that have gotten the most attention in the last 48 hours, as the team’s search for a DP number 10 has heated up in a big way.

The team is reportedly in negotiations for Gremio attacking mid Jean Pyerre, although how advanced those talks are is a matter of dispute.

North America-based outlets, including the Province and Transfermarkt, say the matter has not really extended beyond the inquiry stage and that Gremio are now more reluctant to sell with a new coach, Tiago Nunes, on board.

Brazilian media reports have been more aggressive, saying the club has tendered at least two offers for Pyerre, including one potentially as high as $6 million for 50% of his rights — a move that would be in line with other similarly ambitious DP rumors in the past.

Initial reports that Pyerre’s agent was in Salt Lake City appear to be putting the cart ahead of the horse, perhaps striking a blow for the credibility of the Brazilian rumors. It is also possible the Caps are trying to set expectations low in order to prevent a repeat of past dealings for players like Otavio, where disappointed fans pilloried the team on social media (although that happens anyway, let’s be real).

Whatever the status of the dealings, there is no doubt this would be a massive coup if it were to get across the finish line. In the 2020 Brasileiro, Pyerre was fifth in key passes per 90 minutes, trailing four guys who are older and much more established. He is one of the top players in the Seria A in terms of Transfermarkt value and, at 22 years of age, is an investment that would likely only be set to appreciate in value.

If you want to see for yourself what he has to offer, well, have I got a YouTube video for you:

The clips show a guy who is comfortable doing it all — dropping deep to help progress the ball forward, swinging in a well-weighted cross or supplying a killer pass to spring a teammate in on goal. In some cases, his passing is almost too on point, just one step ahead of the attacking player making the run.

But one look at Pyerre, statistically or empirically, shows that he is a more or less perfect fit for what the Caps need in the CAM role.

Brazilian outlets are also reporting that the team is kicking the tires on Santos midfielder Gabriel Pirani. Whether this is legitimate or is just a smokescreen as part of the Pyerre dealings is unknown.

But Pirani seems like a decent option — just much less developed than Pyerre, as most of his experience stems from the youth level. His pricetag would be correspondingly cheaper, especially given the fact that Santos are having some cash flow problems at the moment.

All of this could easily change by the time this column comes out. If I had to guess, I would say the reality is somewhere between the Canadian and Brazilian reports on Pyerre — the Caps have probably made some sort of offer but are going to need to up it in order to get the deal across the line. Given the state of the Brazilian economy, I would guess Gremio will pull the trigger for the right price and it would then come down to convincing Pyerre that Vancouver would be able to help him along to Europe.

In any event, this is another sign the club is thinking big for its number 10 and, given the increased MLS interest in Brazilian players this offseason, makes a lot of sense. It is no longer enough to be linked to these types of deals, however — one must get across the finish line. Check back here Monday to see if this one has the legs to do so!

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