UPDATE, Weds. 6:40 pm ET: Atlanta United president Darren Eales confirmed on Atlanta's pregame show that a deal has been agreed to in principle to transfer Pity Martinez to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr FC. The deal was first reported by The Athletic's Felipe Cardenas. He was not included in ATLUTD's gameday roster vs. Inter Miami.
Eales said the playmaker needs to pass his medical and the player wanted to move on from the Five Stripes.
UPDATE, Weds. 3:25 pm ET: Atlanta United have agreed to a deal in principle to transfer Pity Martinez to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr FC, a source confirmed to MLSsoccer.com. The deal was first reported by The Athletic's Felipe Cardenas.
A source adds that Atlanta plan to add another Designated Player this transfer window to replace Martinez. If Pity's deal to Al-Nassr is completed, Atlanta will have one open DP slot with Josef Martinez and Ezequiel Barco occupying the other two.
TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Report
According to South American journalist Cesar Luis Merlo, Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr FC have submitted a bid of $18 million for Martinez. Al-Nassr finished second in the Saudi Professional League in 2019/20.
🚨🚨El Al-Nassr de Arabia Saudita 🇸🇦 ofertó 18 millones de dólares por el Pity Martínez.— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) September 2, 2020
*️⃣Tanto el Atlanta United 🇺🇲 como el futbolista están evaluando la propuesta.
*️⃣De concretarse la operación, le ingresaría dinero a River y Huracán por mecanismo de solidaridad. pic.twitter.com/phr0xuN4nD
Martinez, 27, joined Atlanta United ahead of last season under huge fanfare after winning the 2019 South American Player of the Year award for a stellar campaign with River Plate. He has had an up-and-down life in MLS thus far, with seven goals and 11 assists across 39 league appearances with Atlanta. He helped guide the club to win both the US Open Cup and Campeones Cup in 2019.
If the deal happens, $18 million would be one of the most lavish transfers in MLS history. Atlanta currently hold the record with Miguel Almiron's deal to Newcastle United, which broke the transfer that sent Alphonso Davies from the Vancouver Whitecaps to Bayern Munich.
As for Saudi Arabia, it's not unheard of for star MLS players to land there. Former Toronto FC talisman Sebastian Giovinco moved to Saudi giants Al Hilal in early 2019, where he has featured in the FIFA Club World Cup and helped the side finish atop the 2019-2020 Saudi League table.