Gaston Gimenez Chicago Fire

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

Chicago Fire FC have re-signed central midfielder Gaston Gimenez to a new Designated Player contract that lasts through the 2023 season, the club announced Monday.

The Paraguay national team mainstay will continue to occupy an international roster slot, while Chicago have two open DP spots beyond him after parting ways with forward Robert Beric and transferring attacker Ignacio Aliseda to partner club FC Lugano (Switzerland).

“Gaston is highly motivated to help lead the Fire back into the playoffs,” sporting director Georg Heitz said in a release. “He will benefit from a new start under Ezra Hendrickson and will partner with Federico Navarro to form one of the best and hardest working midfields in MLS next season. We have high expectations for Gaston and are confident that he will deliver for the club.”

Gimenez, 30, has spent the last two seasons in Chicago after being acquired from Argentine side Vélez Sarsfield in February 2020. He’s recorded two goals and four assists in 43 MLS appearances (39 starts).

Since joining Chicago, Gimenez has regularly been the subject of overseas transfer interest. With his previous contract set to expire after the 2022 season, the Fire now avoid losing him for free and are in position to negotiate a transfer should it arise.

“I’m very grateful and excited to continue representing the Chicago Fire,” said Gimenez. “The club has shown their confidence in me, and it is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I look forward to giving the best version of myself for our fans and the city of Chicago.”

Upon switching from Argentina to represent Paraguay, Gimenez has made nine appearances (eight starts) in the Copa America and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Chicago are chasing an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs return, with Hendrickson appointed as head coach after being an assistant coach with the Columbus Crew.