Transfer Tracker

Atlanta United sign striker Giorgos Giakoumakis from Celtic FC

TRANSFER_Giorgos Giakoumakis ATL


Atlanta United, after several twists and turns in transfer negotiations, have signed Greek international striker Giorgos Giakoumakis from Scottish powerhouse Celtic FC, the MLS club announced Wednesday.

The 28-year-old will occupy a Designated Player spot and has joined Atlanta through the 2026 MLS season.

The deal arrives after Atlanta bought out Josef Martinez earlier this offseason, only for their all-time leading scorer to sign with Inter Miami CF, another Eastern Conference team. Giakoumakis was strongly linked with a move from Celtic to Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds in recent days, but Atlanta’s offer won out.

"Giorgos is a player who’s been on the club’s radar for a while and we’re excited to bring him to Atlanta," Carlos Bocanegra, Atlanta's vice president and technical director, said in a release.

“He’s a powerful striker who loves to get in the box and score goals. He plays with a high intensity, works hard and is someone we think will help the team both in the attack and leading the line defensively. We’re excited to welcome him to the club and integrate him into the squad."

Giakoumakis is coming off two sterling campaigns in Europe, finishing as the top scorer in the Eredivisie (2020-21 at VVV-Venlo) and Scottish Premiership (2021-22 with Celtic). He scored a combined 55 goals in 90 games at those two clubs, moving to bigger-name stops after increasing his profile in the Greek Super League.

On the international stage, Giakoumakis has two goals in 11 appearances for Greece.

While replacing Martinez won’t be easy, Giakoumakis gives Atlanta a goal-proven No. 9 who will supplement DPs Thiago Almada and Luiz Araujo in attack. The Five Stripes also have MLS veteran winger Derrick Etienne Jr., who signed in free agency this offseason after several years at the Columbus Crew.

With only Giakoumakis and homegrown Jackson Conway on the roster as natural strikers, Atlanta could pursue other targets during the Primary Transfer Window (lasts until April 24). Aside from Martinez, Ronaldo Cisneros (loan expired) and Dom Dwyer (waived) also left the club this offseason.

Atlanta, entering their second full season under head coach Gonzalo Pineda, make their 2023 season debut on Feb. 25 when hosting the San Jose Earthquakes (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

Giakoumakis' arrival means there are two Greek internationals in MLS; the other is D.C. United forward Taxi Fountas.