How Atlanta United would sign him remains a bit unclear. Even if Atlanta United matched Manchester United’s bid of $4 million and it was accepted, Caicedo would become a Designated Player. MLS teams are allowed a maximum of three DPs. The team’s three DP slots are filled by Josef Martinez, Marcelino Moreno and Ezequiel Barco. Teams can buy down DPs under certain circumstances. Martinez and Barco can’t be bought down. It’s unclear if Moreno can because the MLSPA didn’t reveal player’s salaries during the 2020 season. DP slots can be opened by selling that player. Within the Collective Bargaining Agreement, currently being re-negotiated between the league and MLSPA after the owners exercised the Force Majeure clause in the deal, was a element that hadn’t been finalized but was going to allow teams to sign a “Young DP.”
In addition to the on-field benefit of signing Caicedo, beating a Premier League to sign him would be quite the coup for Atlanta United President Darren Eales and Vice President Carlos Bocanegra.
MLS teams just don’t beat out legitimately interested clubs in Europe to sign players, especially those with such promising potential.