TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Report
Portland Timbers legend Diego Valeri is nearing a return to Lanus in his native Argentina, according to a report from Cesar Luis Merlo.
Valeri initially joined Portland in 2013 from the Primera División side and has embarked upon a historic career in the Pacific Northwest, bringing an MLS Cup title to the Timbers in 2015 and earning Landon Donovan MLS MVP honors in 2017.
The only hiccup is Valeri is currently under contract with Portland for the 2022 MLS season, though during their run to hosting MLS Cup 2021 at Providence Park, reports surfaced Valeri was nearing his final game in the green and gold.
When head coach Giovanni Savarese was asked about the 35-year-old after their MLS Cup defeat to New York City FC, there was a tone of acceptance that Valeri could be departing the club.
"He's a player that since he came to Major League Soccer, he showed his quality," Savarese said after the PK shootout loss. "He made this league a better league. He made the Portland Timbers be what it is. And he's shown all his quality, he's played always with so much passion and he's done a fantastic job to have been an extremely important player for this organization. He's a legend for Portland."
While Valeri’s role was diminished in 2021, he has 86 goals and 91 assists across 262 regular-season games (230 starts). In the playoffs, he’s added another six goals and eight assists across 22 games (18 starts).
Valeri was a longtime DP in Portland until resigning in December 2019 on a deal that used Targeted Allocation Money.