TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS:Transfer
The writing has been on the wall, but Atlanta United have officially announced the transfer of Designated Player Pity Martinez to Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr FC, the club confirmed in a Monday release.
The news of Martinez's transfer was first reported by South American reporter Cesar Luis Merlo, who said the transfer fee would be $18 million dollars, and later confirmed by Felipe Cardenas of The Athletic. That fee, along with the reported $27 million paid by Newcastle United for Miguel Almiron in January 2019, mean Atlanta now has the two highest initial outgoing transfer fees in MLS history.
“We want to thank Pity for his contributions to our club for the past two years,” Atlanta United vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in Monday's release. “He will forever be a part of Atlanta United’s history after playing an integral part in our 2019 season in which we lifted two trophies. We’ll look to be diligent in our efforts to fill that roster spot during this window.”
It brings an end to the run in MLS for the former South American Player of the Year with River Plate, who was brought in ahead of the 2019 season following the departure of star playmaker Miguel Almiron to Newcastle, though never quite matched his predecessor's prolific output for the Five Stripes. Martinez ends his Atlanta career with seven goals and 11 assists in 2,742 minutes across 39 league games.
The move also means Atlanta now have a free Designated Player spot, as well as a free international spot on their roster. Club president Darren Eales said last week that the club intends to move in the current transfer window, which runs until Oct. 29, to replace Martinez with another attacking DP. Atlanta's other two Designated Players are Ezequiel Barco and the injured Josef Martinez.