Pity Martinez has arrived in Atlanta.
Now, there is just the matter of him officially being signed by Atlanta United.
Martinez arrived in the city on Monday, stopping as he exited the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to sign autographs from a few gathered fans. With his arrival, Atlanta United is expected to announce the addition soon. For his part, Martinez has already been quoted as saying he will join the Five Stripes.
Martinez, a 25-year-old midfielder from Argentina, helped River Plate defeat Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores tournament recently. He is the reigning South American Player of the Year. After that win, where he scored a goal, Martinez told ESPN of Atlanta United, “It’s the club that has put its trust in me. European clubs did not put their trust in me at the time, and I thought long and hard about it with my family and my agent.
"The MLS is a league that has grown a lot, and I hope I can keep on making history at that club."
Atlanta United, which opened training camp in defense of its MLS Cup championship this week, reportedly agreed to a transfer fee of $17 million for the player, which would surpass the record $15 million it paid for Ezequiel Barco before the 2018 season.
Martinez can’t officially join Atlanta United until it clears one of its three Designated Player slots. It seems likely that Miguel Almiron will be sold in January, which would open a slot. The team’s three are currently taken by Josef Martinez, Almiron and Barco.