UPDATE, 6:42pm: During an interview broadcast on 92.9 The Game and Atlanta United’s social media channels before Atlanta’s match against Inter Miami, club preisdent Darren Eales confirmed that Al-Nassr and Atlanta had “agreed to a deal in principle” to transfer Pity Martinez overseas, pending a physical. Eales also confirmed earlier reports from The Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas that the club were looking to sign a Designated Player during the current transfer window.
Darren Eales: "I can confirm there's a deal in principle." Pity still has to pass a medical.— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) September 2, 2020
UPDATE: According to The Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas, Atlanta United have agreed to terms to sell Pity Martinez to Saudi club Al-Nassr. The exact fee is unknown, but journalist Cesar Luis Merlo is reporting $18 million. According to Cardenas, Martinez will not be in tonight’s lineup as Atlanta host Inter Miami at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Meanwhile, Atlanta United play-by-play announcer and 92.9 The Game’s Mike Conti reports that no official word is set to come down today.
Being told that nothing will be formally complete on Pity Martinez's sale today.— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) September 2, 2020
We will continue to monitor the situation and pass along further updates as they become available.
Argentine journalist Cesar Luis Merlo is reporting that Al-Nassr, a Saudi club, has submitted an $18 million bid for Pity Martinez’s transfer from Atlanta United. There is no word yet on if such a move would be acceptable for Martinez himself, according to the report.
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
Needless to say, this feels like a deus ex machina situation for Atlanta United’s front office, who now have an opportunity to make a financial profit (or, potentially break even after fees and sell-on payments) for a player that has shown flashes but struggled to find consistency over a turbulent period in the club’s history. Martinez has scored seven goals in 39 league matches.
Of note here as well is the source of the reporting. While a headline like this seems out of the realms of possibility, Merlo is among the most accurate and knowledgeable when it comes to South Americans moving in the transfer window.
Felipe Cardenas at the Athletic notes that Al-Nassr would have seen Martinez up close when his River Plate side competed against them in the 2018 Club World Cup.