Julian Gressel on Thursday said he hopes to work out a new contract with Atlanta United because he wants to stay with the club for a long time, but that there are no updates.
“I’m focusing on playing and let my agent and the club work it out,” he said. He said he has no deadline for a new contract.
Gressel, a 25-year-old native of Germany, has a one-year option on his contract following the 2019 season. He had a guaranteed compensation of $111,250 last season, according to the MLS Players Association.
The eighth pick in the 2017 SuperDraft, Gressel won the Rookie of the Year Award after scoring five goals and notching nine assists. He followed that with four goals and 14 assists last season in helping Atlanta United win the MLS Cup.
His enthusiasm to interact with fans, combined with his results, have made him a fan favorite. They gave him the nickname Gresselmania, which spawned T-shirts with a style similar to those of Wrestlemania, and a hashtag that is used on Twitter when he is the subject.
Gressel was invaluable for manager Gerardo Martino because of his ability to play any position asked. In the past two years, he has seen time at striker, attacking midfielder, right midfielder, central midfielder, defensive midfielder, right fullback and right wingback.
In the first three days of training under new manager Frank de Boer, Gressel said he already has been used at several positions.