At the end of last season, the Columbus Crew made a concrete offer to Brazilian midfielder Michel Ferreira dos Santos of Serie B side Atletico-GO.
The 26 year old ended up at Serie A Brazilian side Gremio, who finished 3rd in 2016, instead.
From his Gremiopedia page yeah I guess that is a thing:
"Nothing official has come for me. Only speculation, hearsay. Nothing concrete. Paper itself, nothing. Corinthians, Palmeiras, Gremio ... The only concrete thing was a team from the United States, Columbus. The rep came, we talked and he put the proposals. But yesterday we got the news that it will not work, and the negotiations are over. I met the club manager, but it did not evolve."
From another translated article:
One of the highlights of Serie B of the Brazilian Championship, midfielder Michel will hardly remain at Atlético-GO for next season. The future of the midfielder, at least at the end of the year, is likely to be with a great national team. The player himself is under survey of Grêmio, Corinthians and Palmeiras for 2017.
"I did not hear anything from Corinthians, Palmeiras and Grêmio," said Michel, who, however, received only one concrete proposal from a Major League Soccer franchise.
"The only concrete thing was a United States team, Columbus, came a representative." "Yesterday we received the news that the negotiations ended," he said.
They have Ricardo Moriera working as a consultant officially down there, Ricardo even was on ESPN Brazil the other day discussing such. Link.
They almost signed Zeca in 2015, were two days away. In the end, he ended up as a Santos and Brazil National Team star if you fast forward to the present. Link.
From another article:
Columbus is not coming to Brazil just for two weeks of preseason. The team is in work with talent scouts and the goal here is this, to negotiate with players. Really? We have no more international spots, lol.
But the American team already comes with a certain shot; as the search is restricted to players who compete in the A and B series of the Brazilian Championship.