According to reports from opposite ends of the globe, Atlanta United is on the verge of getting a couple of key transfer signings across the line as the team prepares to travel to Mexico City for the pivotal portion of its preseason training camp.
One of those players is one we’ve been keeping a close eye on since being linked — striker Giorgios Giakoumakis from Celtic. The 28-year old Greek international has been ensnared in a transfer battle between Atlanta United and J-League club Urawa Red Diamonds. Atlanta has reportedly had to up its offer to convince Celtic to move him stateside, but it seems to be enough. Atlanta will reportedly slap the Designated Player tag onto Giakoumakis, though the deal seems to be an amount where the player could be bought down off the DP registration using TAM in future seasons.
A local Celtic reporter seemed to further indicate that the move is completed in principle and it’s only a matter of time until becoming official.
Giorgos Giakoumakis was at Lennoxtown earlier for the final time, collecting his stuff. Off to Atlanta United in the MLS with a transfer to be completed in the coming days.— Hamish Carton (@hamishcarton) January 30, 2023
So that appears to be one done. But if Atlanta’s preseason opener showed us anything, it’s that the team is still in desperate need of some help at the back. That appears to be on its way as well in the form of Luis Abram. Abram, 26, has 31 international caps for his native Peru. He was a key player for Gabriel Heinze’s Velez Sarsfield team where he played alongside Thiago Almada. Abram’s form has reportedly dipped in recent years after a move to Spanish side Granada in 2021. He made only six league appearances for the Spanish club before being loaned to Cruz Azul in Liga MX last season (where he played regularly, making 27 league appearances.)
¡ACUERDO CERRADO!— Jorge Castillo (@JCastilloRoque) January 28, 2023
Granada y Atlanta United llegaron a un acuerdo por el traspaso de Luis Abram a cambio de una cifra cercana a los 300.000 €.
El combinado granadino se quedará con un porcentaje en caso el futbolista sea vendido en un futuro.
: @joaquinv_vv pic.twitter.com/0tiaEL1Xgv
At only a $325,000 transfer fee, the price seems like the kind of economic deal Atlanta needs to find in its current state. The team appears to be constrained financially by bloated salaries and transfer prices of past players, which new President and CEO Garth Lagerwey seems to be spearheading the task of offloading.
Gonzalo Pineda indicated a few weeks ago that he was expecting three players to arrive to Atlanta, and one would assume these were two he had on his mind at that time. We’ve also heard Garth Lagerwey say there may still be one or two more outgoing players in this primary MLS transfer window. So expect Atlanta to continue to be in the news as it looks to solidify its roster before the opening game of the MLS season in less than a month.