Atlanta United hasn’t officially announced the signing of Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez, but the talented Argentine attacker is in the U.S. now anyway.
Martinez posted a selfie of himself at Times Square in New York City, likely getting his first taste of anonymity after a star-studded run with River Plate in Buenos Aires.
Following the rescheduled second leg of the Copa Libertadores final, Martinez and River Plate both confirmed to media post game that he was departing River Plate for Atlanta United, but despite this, the MLS club still hasn’t made the new official on their end. It’s unclear what the hold up is, whether it is transfer fee, agents fee, or Designated Player related. For the record, the LA Galaxy announced in December that it was re-signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a Designated Player contract, knowing all along that they couldn’t start the next MLS season with more than three DPs.
Previous reports out of Argentina have stated that Martinez’s transfer to Atlanta United could cost the club as much as $14 million including the base transfer fee to River Plate, agents fees, and potential add-ons.
A year ago, Atlanta United announced its club record signing, Ezequiel Barco, then-19, during the MLS Superdraft, but there was no Designated Player announcement at the league’s annual weekend symposium this year. Atlanta United has a challenge on its hands if Miguel Almiron isn’t sold to Europe this offseason. Under current MLS rules, it can’t have more than three players signed to Designated Player contracts.
Perhaps it could loan Barco, who struggled at times last season, or loan Martinez elsewhere, because Josef Martinez seems a lock to be in Atlanta for the foreseeable future.
Either way, Pity Martinez’s arrival in the U.S. could be a sign that an announcement could come soon from Atlanta United.