UPDATE – Dec. 13, 3:00 pm ET: LAFC have transferred midfielder Eduard Atuesta to Brasileirão side Palmeiras, the Western Conference club announced Monday.
A source adds that LAFC will receive $4 million upfront with incentives that could extend the fee to $7 million.
MLSsoccer.com reported yesterday that the Black & Gold and back-to-back Copa Libertadores winners were in advanced discussions over the move.
“We are excited for Eduard in the next step of his career,” LAFC co-president & GM John Thorrington said in a club statement. “Since he arrived in our first season, Eduard has been a leader both on and off the field. His contributions in building LAFC have been immense, and we are grateful for how he has represented the club. Eduard developed into an MLS All-Star and Best XI player in his time in LA, and it is gratifying to see him move on to perform for a team that won the 2020 and 2021 Copa Libertadores.”
ORIGINAL— Dec. 12, 11:55 am ET: LAFC are in advanced talks to transfer midfielder Eduard Atuesta to Brazilian giants Palmeiras, a source confirmed to MLSsoccer.com. ESPN Brazil first reported the talks.
A source added that LAFC will receive around $4 million from Palmeiras for Atuesta. The deal is expected to be finalized soon.
Atuesta, 24, was named to the 2019 MLS Best XI. He has been at LAFC since their inaugural 2018 campaign, appearing 96 times for the club. Atuesta, signed from Independiente Medellin, has been integral at the base of their midfield, particularly when LAFC shattered MLS records for single-season points and goal difference in 2019. Atuesta also helped lead the Black & Gold to the 2020 Concacaf Champions League final.
The Colombian was a regular at youth international levels and is on the cusp of the national team, though has yet to make his senior debut.
LAFC are entering a transformational year. They have moved on from core pieces like Diego Rossi (loaned to Fenerbache) and Mark-Anthony Kaye (traded to Colorado Rapids), while head coach Bob Bradley left and is now at Toronto FC. LAFC are still in their coaching search.
Palmeiras just won their second Copa Libertadores in a row and are among the biggest clubs in South America. They attempted to acquire Ateusta last offseason but a deal never got done. They also had bids rejected for NYCFC forward Taty Castellanos last winter.