UPDATE: 3:45 p.m.
Atlanta United have confirmed the departure of Julian Gressel. We will have more updates with comments from Atlanta United Vice President Carlos Bocanegra momentarily.
The Julian Gressel vs. Atlanta United contract saga has reportedly come to a surprising conclusion. Steven Goff of the Washington Post first reported that Gressel was being traded to D.C. United in return for an unknown amount of cash.
Gressel and Atlanta United have been embroiled in a long battle regarding the German’s contract. With the final season of his deal approaching, the team has apparently decided that dealing him away was the best solution for them.
Goff reports that D.C. United was willing to pony up and offer Gressel a huge raise, unlike Atlanta.
Sides apparently had been talking for past 10 days. As part of the deal, Gressel's salary will go way up: $114,000 base to $700K+. Four years (unclear about options)— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 21, 2020
This is obviously a huge decision, trading away one of its most popular and productive players. The harsh realities of MLS’ salary cap was inevitably going to be felt in Atlanta. This offseason it has hit like a ton of bricks.
Gressel’s departure opens a massive hole in Frank de Boer’s lineup and will stir a ton of debate as how to replace him. For now, we’ll wait and see if the deal goes official and then go from there.
Sound off in the comments on this potential move.