Jurgen Damm’s departure from Atlanta United has seemed near-certain for the last couple weeks since reports emerged that the team is looking to move the expensive winger who only played 183 league minutes in 2021.
Now, head coach Gonzalo Pineda has made it clear that the Mexican international is “not in the team’s plans” when he spoke with Mexican media this week while the team starts its preseason training camp in Guadalajara.
#GonzaloPineda declara que Jurgen Damm no entra en los planes de @VamosATLUTD ⚽— quiero tv (@quierotv_gdl) February 3, 2022
Fue presentada la Copa "Ángel Romero" en honor a uno de los mejores pedalistas que ha tenido #México.
El mejor contenido deportivo está en: #quierodeportes pic.twitter.com/SDBUSgFXfC
The video is in Spanish, but here’s the english translation of what Pineda said:
“At this moment he’s not in the team’s plans. At this time he’s training on his own - and we of course are grateful to Jurgen for what he has contributed to the team. At this time we are looking to go in a different direction. My hope is that la directiva [presumably a reference to Atlanta United Vice President Carlos Bocanegra] and his agent find the best thing for him.”
Damm arrives to Atlanta on a free transfer, but his incredibly hefty wages (he earned more than $1.5 million in guaranteed compensation in 2021) put a major strain on Atlanta’s salary budget. This salary means that Atlanta spend nearly $1 million in allocation money on Damm alone to have him on the roster.
Those wages are reportedly an issue in finding a new club. This report states that Chivas had interest in the player but were ultimately put off by the price of said wages.
¡NO ENTRA EN PLANES!— Duro de Marcar #EnCasa (@DurodeMarcarGDL) February 3, 2022
El mexicano Jürgen Damm no es considerado por el Atlanta United, por lo que él y su representante están en busqueda de un nuevo club. Chivas lo buscó, sin embargo, el salario fue alto, motivo de no seguir en negociaciones con el Rebaño⚽️. pic.twitter.com/AN5w0DgO1X
Atlanta could plausibly buy-out the remainder of Damm’s contract at the expense of Arthur Blank pocketbook anytime prior to the start of the season. An example of such a situation occurred in 2019 when the LA Galaxy bought out Giovanni dos Santos’ contract the day before the roster compliance deadline. It makes sense that Atlanta will make every attempt to offload the player on a loan or free transfer before being forced into such a move.