The Mexico star may be thriving in Europe with Villarreal, but he is seriously considering reuniting with brother Giovani as the MLS club's newest designated player.
One year after Giovani dos Santos first let it be known that his brother was interested in one day being his teammate, it appears the LA Galaxy are serious about making the family reunion a reality.
The Galaxy are making a serious push to sign Mexican national team midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, multiple sources confirmed to Goal USA. The Galaxy are currently sitting with two available designated player slots and have locked in on the younger Dos Santos brother as an ideal candidate to fill one of them.
The 26-year-old midfielder is enjoying a career year with Spanish side Villarreal, but sources say he is strongly considering a big-money offer from the Galaxy, who are eager to make at least one high-profile signing this winter after seeing Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard leave the club.
Jonathan and Giovani dos Santos came up together in the Barcelona youth ranks, but they never played first-team soccer together at the Spanish giant. The two El Tri standouts reunited at Villarreal for the 2014-15 season before Giovani left to sign with the LA Galaxy.
Jonathan is enjoying considerable success this season with Villarreal, and a move to MLS right now will come as a surprise. But a desire to reunite with his brother along with the belief being that an MLS move wouldn't necessarily mean the death knell to his international career could make the decision easier. Giovani's return to the national team fold last year serves as clear evidence that Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio wouldn't necessarily write off Jonathan if he decides to join the Galaxy.
The Galaxy's pursuit of Jonathan dos Santos comes as somewhat of a mild surprise given the persistent rumors that the Galaxy are in cost-cutting mode and no longer taking the free-spending approach to building a squad that helped them sign the likes of Keane and David Beckham on the way to winning multiple MLS Cups.
Reuniting the Dos Santos brothers would be a coup on multiple fronts. On the field, having two elite players in their prime would help push the Galaxy back into the conversation of elite MLS teams, while having two high-profile Mexican stars would also help the Galaxy's marketing efforts a year before MLS expansion side LAFC begins play.
it has been a tumultuous offseason for the Galaxy, who not only bid farewell to Keane and Gerrard, but also watched head coach Bruce Arena leave to return to the U.S. national team. Curt Onalfo has been hired as head coach, with Peter Vagenas being named general manager.
Sources tell Goal USA that while the Galaxy are under a mandate to curb spending overall within the organization, the plan is to still have the team fill its two open designated player slots alongside the one currently occupied by Giovani dos Santos. The Galaxy recently traded for the rights to U.S. national team midfielder Jermaine Jones, but he is expected to be signed to a contract using targeted allocation money, and not as a designated player.