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Contract dispute at heart of Gonzalez Pirez transfer negotiations

The devil is in the details

Atlanta United FC v Chicago Fire Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez’s rumored transfer to Club Tijuana is being delayed by an apparent contract dispute between the player and Atlanta United/MLS.

Club Vice President Carlos Bocanegra told media members on a conference call yesterday that no deal for Leandro Gonzalez Pirez has been finalized. This comes after reports that the deal had been agreed to.

Gonzalez Pirez told reporters last offseason that, at the time, he had one more year remaining on his contract for 2019, as well as a club option for the 2020 season.

After the 2019 season in a conference call with reporters, Bocanegra said the reports of his contract details were inaccurate.

“I think there might have been a little bit of confusion,” said Bocanegra on November 21.

“I read a few things that he was in the last year of his contract [in 2020]. That is not correct. He does have other option years after that. So without going into specifics, this is not the final year of his contract.”

It’s unknown exactly how the dispute over the contract would affect a potential transfer, but Dirty South Soccer understands that Atlanta United is not unwilling to sell its second-most-capped player. The disagreement is likely to impact the transfer compensation as opposed to the deal itself.

MLS is no stranger to these types of disputes. Orlando City has experienced a similar situation with one of its former players, Cyle Larin. Larin was eventually sold for a reported seven-figure fee to Besiktas J.K., but not before a drawn out disagreement over the terms stated in Larin’s MLS contract.

This situation is understood to not be as severe as was the case with Larin, and that all parties are motivated to resolve the issue in the short term.