TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Report
Atlanta United head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino addressed reports of Club América’s interest in Josef Martinez on Wednesday, acknowledging the Mexican giants’ desire to buy the Five Stripes’ star striker but downplaying the likelihood of a move in the near future.
“There are no words to describe the significance of Club América’s and the grandness of that club,” said Martino in Spanish after ATLUTD’s 1-0 upset loss to the Chicago Fire in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16. “But I also think about the significance of Atlanta. Atlanta isn't a club that needs money. Atlanta doesn't need to sell.”
Other reports have suggested that Las Águilas, one of the richest and most successful clubs in Liga MX, have been presented with a price tag as high as $40 million for Martinez, who leads MLS with 14 goals in 16 games.
“I think it's great that clubs like América seek out our players,” Tata added in remarks reported and translated by local radio station 92.9 The Game. “That means Josef and the team are doing well and is a testament to this club. This is what Atlanta United wants.”
Martino asserted that playmaker Miguel Almiron, who’s also been the subject of heavy transfer interest from clubs abroad, is similarly unlikely to depart any time soon.
“I'm not saying that they will never leave, but at least in our current position this year it's not likely,” he said. “We'll wait until the end of the year to see any type of movement or changes to our roster.
“I honestly don't believe we will be down a man in the short term.”
The Five Stripes currently sit in first place in both the MLS Eastern Conference and overall league standings with a 10-3-3 record. Read 92.9 The Game’s full translation of Martino’s Martinez-related remarks here.