TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Re-signed
The Timbers announced on Monday their star playmaker has re-signed a multiyear contract, using Targeted Allocation Money.
The news comes after several months of uncertainty surrounding the Argentine. While reports surfaced claiming Valeri could leave the club in the offseason, either to another MLS team or abroad, more recent indications were that the parties were close to a deal, and now the midfielder is set to stay for years to come.
“Diego is a Timbers legend and we couldn’t be happier that he and his family will remain in the Rose City,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers, in a team statement. “Not only has Diego been a leader in MLS over his career, he has become a local icon who is tremendously important to the club, the fans and the city of Portland. We look forward to raising another cup with him.”
Valeri, 33, joined Portland in 2013 and has been a fixture in the lineup since, helping the club to their first MLS Cup title, in 2015, winning MLS Cup MVP. Winning MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2013, in 2017 he was MLS MVP, after scoring 21 goals and 11 assists in 32 regular-season appearances. He is a three-time MLS Best XI selection and a four-time MLS All-Star selection.
“I am happy to extend my contract with the Portland Timbers,” said Valeri. “I would like to thank all the people involved to make it happen as I always expected. I have a special mention for [my wife] Florencia, [my daughter] Connie and our fans who have warmly supported me throughout the years. It’s an immense honor to play for them.”
While Portland have successfully brought Valeri back, signing him with TAM means the club will have another Designated Player spot open ahead of the 2020 season, which kicks off March 1 at home against Minnesota United FC.