TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer
The 24-year-old Argentine departs NYCFC for a club-record transfer fee, representing one of the most expensive outgoing moves in MLS history. The Cityzens also retain a sell-on fee.
Lazio, who finished second in the 2022-23 Serie A season, will compete in the upcoming UEFA Champions League and boast an attack that's led by Italian striker Ciro Immobile.
"It’s an incredible story and we’re delighted to have played a part in his development," sporting director David Lee said in a release. "From the moment Taty arrived in New York, his quality, dedication and professionalism were apparent, and it is little surprise that he will continue his career progression at the highest levels in Europe. It also continues to show that NYCFC and City Football Group is a fantastic environment for players to improve and develop."
Castellanos spent the 2022-23 LaLiga season on loan at Girona, memorably scoring four goals in one match against Real Madrid. Alongside Atlético Madrid striker Álvaro Morata, he finished tied for eighth (13 goals) in the Spanish top-flight Golden Boot race.
While at NYCFC, Castellanos won both MLS Cup and the Golden Boot presented by Audi award in 2021. He departs NYCFC at second in their all-time scoring charts with 59 goals scored across all competitions, sitting behind only Spain national team all-time leading scorer David Villa.
"I’d like to sincerely thank everyone at NYCFC and City Football Group for always looking after me so well and for making this move possible," said Castellanos. "It’s like being part of a family. I’d also like to thank the fans who have always believed in me and supported me every single game."
Castellanos initially joined NYCFC in 2018 while on loan from Uruguayan side Torque, another member of City Football Group’s global portfolio. Girona are also a CFG club, with Castellanos helping them finish 10th in last year's LaLiga season after getting promoted.
Now, Castellanos joins a club that's consistently fighting for European games as a top-half team in Serie A. He's also the latest big-money striker transfer from MLS, following Jhon Durán (Chicago Fire FC to England's Aston Villa) and Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas to Germany's FC Augsburg).
READ MORE: MLS Transfer Tracker presented by Avant