River Plate President Rodolfo D’Onofrio admitted to South American reporters Wednesday that the club is aware of interest in Pity Martinez from Atlanta United, but added that no concrete transfer offers have been made.
"EL INTERÉS POR EL PITY EXISTE"— FOX Sports Argentina (@FOXSportsArg) October 10, 2018
"TENEMOS QUE HACER ALGO CON EL MONUMENTAL"#FSRadioSur | La palabra de Rodolfo D'Onofrio, presidente de River. pic.twitter.com/dAmK7zHRhA
This follows the original report last week by TyC Sports, stating that Atlanta United is planning to pay a release clause for the Argentine star midfielder. If this turns out to be the case, no transfer fee would need to be negotiated between the two teams. As soon as Atlanta United and Martinez agree in principle to a contract, Atlanta United can trigger the release clause to sign the player. The only way River Plate can proactively stop the move is to sign Martinez to a new contract without a release clause (or one for a higher amount). This seems unlikely, especially in the wake of D’Onofrio’s comments in Clarín.
“If it were up to us, we would retain [Pity] for a long time, but how do we keep a player who is 26 years old, is in a great moment and ready to take a leap? We have not received offers yet but we know it will be very difficult to continue in River.”
The amount of Martinez’s release clause is still murky. TyC reported the amount at €15 million ($17,393,325), but other outlets have reported the fee at $25 million. It’s possible that Martinez’s release fee is indeed €15 million, but Atlanta would still be on the hook for taxes, agent fees and bonuses to complete the transaction. Whatever the cost is, at this point it looks like Atlanta United is willing to pay it.