It’s official. After months of rumours, French football star Antoine Griezmann is on his way to Catalunya. Fútbol Club Barcelona announced on Friday that they have come to terms with Atlético de Madrid after triggering Griezmann’s €120 million release clause. He has signed a five-year contract until June 30, 2024.
Griezmann, 28, tallied 133 goals and 56 assists through 256 matches with Atlético Madrid across all competitions. He has been capped 69 times for Les Bleues, scoring 28 goals and was a member of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Champions.
“I have decided to leave [Atlético], see other things, have other challenges and with great difficulty, this is what I feel and I need,” Griezmann said earlier this year. “It’s been five great years where I’ve won my first important trophies with a club. It’s been a very important stage.”
“I have enjoyed a lot, I have left everything in the field, I have tried to behave well, I have tried to give joy to the people who have come to the Metropolitano and also away from home, and I only have gratitude for all of you.”
His buyout clause with Barcelona is €800 million, making him one of the most expensive players in World football. Griezmann’s signing adds him to a potent Blaugrana attack that already features Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The move to Barcelona had been speculated for months in the media though there had never been any official comments from the Catalan club. The fact that the release clause in Griezmann’s contract went down from €200 million to €120 million on July 1 was good enough reason for Barça to wait.
Griezmann will be arriving in Barcelona on Sunday evening from Ibiza where he has been on vacation while waiting for Barcelona to call. He would then take the traditional photo at the Camp Nou in front of the club’s badge. On Monday the plans are for him to sign his contract with club president Josep María Bartomeu, while preparations are completed at the team store and auditorium (la Llotja del Camp Nou y el Auditori 1899), for the press conference and official presentation.
Barcelona will be going for its third consecutive LaLiga title, having also won an incredible 8 out of the past 11 titles in Spain. The UEFA Champions League, however, has proven to be a different story of late. Barcelona incredibly managed to lose in the knockout stages each of the past two years after having a three goal advantage on its opponents going into the return leg. This has prompted many fans to call for Manager Ernesto Valverde to be sacked, and for club President Bartomeu’s resignation.
The following transactions were negotiated in advance of the opening of the 2019 Major League Soccer’s Secondary Transfer Window (July 9- August 7, 2019):
Columbus Crew SC
Acquired Costa Rican winger Luis Diaz from Herediano as a Young Designated Player. According to Jacob Myers of the Columbus Dispatch, the Crew paid a transfer fee of $1 million.
Signed 30-year old Curaçao National Team goalkeeper Eloy Room. The Black & Gold officially announced the move last Friday and Room will be officially added to the roster once the summer transfer window opens today (July 9.)
“We are excited to have a player as experienced and proven as Eloy join Columbus Crew SC,” Crew president Tim Bezbatchenko said. “Eloy is a talented goalkeeper whose leadership and shot-stopping ability will help strengthen our Club. We believe Eloy’s background competing at the European and international level will allow him to contribute to Crew SC immediately.”
Room most recently played for PSV Eindhoven from 2017-19 but was out of contract. He was a part of the 2017-18 Eredivisie championship side that qualified for the UEFA Champions League. Prior to joining PSV, Room played for SBV Vitesse of the Eredivisie from 2008-17 and spent the 2013-14 season on loan with the Go Ahead Eagles in Holland. Room made 169 appearances, 159 starts in the Dutch First Division.
He started 20 games in the KNVB Cup and played twice in the UEFA Europa League Qualifiers. The goalkeeper was an important member of the KNVB Cup winners in the 2016-17 season with Vitesse. During the run to the title, Room played in every match, helping Vitesse win its first KNVB Cup in 125 years.
Room’s should be a familiar name to those who followed the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Room started all four matches of the tournament for Curaçao, including the 1-0 loss to the United States in the quarterfinals. The goalkeeper made 26 saves in a surprising four-game run. Overall, Room has earned 30 caps for the Curaçao National Team, including nine clean sheets. He also featured internationally for the Netherlands at the Under-20 level.
Room’s addition to the Crew roster will be part of the plan to bolster the goalkeeper position after U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Zack Steffen was sold to Manchester City of the English Premier League in the offseason for a record fee. Steffen won the 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award. Steffen made his final appearance for Columbus in 2-2 draw with New York City FC on June 1.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Reached a deal to make Iraqi left-back Ali Adnan‘s loan a permanent move from Serie A Club Udinese.
The multi-million dollar transaction sets a new record for the fullback position. Although the exact figure is unknown, it is thought that the the transfer fee is somewhere in the vicinity of $2-2.5 Million USD. The new contract runs through the end of the 2021 season, with an option for 2022. Adnan will now occupy a Designated Player slot for Vancouver. He was unable to feature for the club last weekend due to a gap in his initial loan expiring on June 30th and the transfer window opening today, at which point he is now once again eligible.
Part of what made the Ali Adnan move possible was the “buying down” of Joaquin Ardaiz’s Young Designated Player contract,which freed up a Designated Player Spot that the Whitecaps could then use on Adnan.
“Ali has been a great addition to our club since arriving in March” said Marc Dos Santos “He understands our defensive principles and has an incredible ability to join the attack, create in the last third, which is very important for teams that want to have an impact offensively using their fullbacks.”
Acquired centre-back Maikel van der Werff.
Van der Werfff was acquired using Targeted Allocation Money (“TAM”). He will be added to the active roster pending the receipt of his P1-Visa and International Transfer Certificate (“ITC”) when the Secondary Transfer Window opens today (July 9th).
Van der Werff, 30, spent the last seven seasons in the Netherlands’ Eredivisie with Vitesse (2015-19) and PEC Zwolle (2013-15). In the recently concluded 2018-19 season, van der Werff made 30 appearances for Vitesse across all competitions, where he scored four goals and added four assists. He has captured two Dutch Cups, one Johan Cruyff Shield and most recently wore the captain’s armband for Vitesse for parts of the 2018-19 season. A native of Hoorn, Netherlands, van der Werff will occupy an international roster spot on FC Cincinnati’s roster.
“We are pleased to be able to add a quality player and we’d like to welcome Maikel to FC Cincinnati,” FC Cincinnati General Manager Gerard Nijkamp said. “He brings a high level of experience and leadership to our backline and will be an excellent addition as we solidify our style of play. We look forward to integrating Maikel with our current group and eagerly anticipate his future as an FC Cincinnati player.”
“I’m very happy and proud with this move to FC Cincinnati,” van der Werff said. “I was able to visit for the match against the LA Galaxy and the atmosphere was great. I’m looking forward to playing and being part of this team.”
Van der Werff has a combined 247 first-team appearances, including 207 starts, during the course of his 11 professional seasons in the Netherlands. He has scored 23 goals and added 19 assists across all competitions with Vitesse, PEC Zwolle and Dutch second-tier side FC Volendam (2008-13).
Acquired Ghanian winger Edwin Gyasi.
Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia agreed to loan winger Edwin Gyasi to FC Dallas with an option to buy for the MLS side. Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands to Ghanaian parents, the Ghanaian midfielder has 5 caps for the Ghana National Team. He made his senior debut for the Black Stars on Sept. 5, 2017, and scored his first international goal in a World Cup Qualifier versus Egypt on Nov. 12, 2017.
Gyasi, 27, has played for De Graafschap, FC Twente, Roda JC, and Aalesund as well as other clubs during his career prior to joining CSKA Sofia. Gyasi played more than 50 games for Sofia, scoring 6 goals and adding 10 assists.
FC Dallas used Targeted Allocation Money (“TAM”) to complete the loan deal. He will be eligible to add to Dallas’ roster pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 Visa.
Atlanta United FC
Signed former US youth national team star Emerson Hyndman.
Atlanta signed former US youth national team star Emerson Hyndman on a loan from AFC Bournemouth of the English Premier League. Atlanta has the option to purchase at the end of this season.
Hyndman was part of the FC Dallas Youth Academy. Atlanta acquired Hyndman’s Discovery Rights from Dallas in exchange for an international roster slot in 2019 and 2020 and $200,000 in General Allocation Money.
The 23-year-old began his professional career with Fulham Football Club in 2014 and played two seasons in London with the English Championship side before moving up to the Premier League with Bournemouth in 2016. However, his career with the Cherries never materialized and he played in just eight games for the club.
Hyndman was loaned by Bournemouth to Glasgow Rangers in 2016-17 and Hibernian in 2018-19, playing a total of 36 games in Scotland, with five goals and four assists.
Hyndman has two appearances for the U.S. men’s national team.
“We’re excited to bring a talented young player like Emerson in to bolster our midfield,” club vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a prepared statement. “In addition to his technical, on-the-ball abilities, he performed well in two physically demanding leagues in the Scottish Premiership and English Championship.”
Atlanta manager Frank de Boer has said any player he signs is expected to be able to contribute right away. Thus, expect Hyndman to join the rotation with Julian Gressel, Darlington Nagbe, Eric Remedi and Jeff Larentowicz as a box-to-box player. He is eligible to appear for the Five Stripes beginning today when the Major League Soccer secondary transfer window opens.
San Jose Earthquakes
Added Mexican winger Carlos Fierro.
San Jose has signed Mexican winger Carlos Fierro for an undisclosed transfer fee, using Targeted Allocation Money. Fierro can be added to San Jose’s roster once he receives his P-1 Visa and ITC.
Fierro has previously played for Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda. The midfielder made 64 appearances for Almeyda from 2015-18 and 11 under Quakes assistant coach Benjamin Galindo (2013) while competing for Chivas de Guadalajara.
“I know Carlos from my time at Chivas,” said Almeyda. “I know him as a person and as a professional. I know he can help us a lot with his style of play. He’s a player that I can use in various positions. I thank the club and the effort they made to be able to buy him. Hopefully he does a great job, which is what everyone hopes for.”
Fierro, 24, has been a part of several trophy-winning teams in his native Mexico, helping his former clubs claim a trio of Copa MX titles (2015, 2016, 2017) and one Liga MX championship (2017).
In addition to club success, Fierro has made significant contributions to Mexico’s youth level national teams, having been a selection at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels, scoring four goals in 14 total appearances. He was a key player for Mexico at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where Mexico finished with a perfect 7-0-0 record and became the first host nation to win that championship. Fierro scored twice in the Group Stage, the game-winning goal in the Round of 16, and the game-winning goal in the Quarterfinals to earn the Bronze Ball as the tournament’s third most outstanding player. He later helped Mexico win the 2013 Concacaf U-20 Championship with a perfect 6-0-0 record, including a 3-1 victory over the United States in the Final.
Fierro most recently played for Monarcas Morelia of Mexico’s Liga MX on loan from Cruz Azul. During his one year with Morelia, the midfielder scored one goal and contributed four assists in 32 appearances across Liga MX and Copa MX competitions.
A native of Guadalajara, Fierro originally joined the Chivas youth academy in 2008, later making his first team debut in August of 2011 at the age of 17. During his first professional season, Apertura 2011, he was the club’s most often used substitute. Fierro made 135 appearances for Chivas between 2011-15, tallying 11 goals and 13 assists and helping the club win the Apertura 2015 Copa MX Final, two months after Almeyda’s arrival.
The Major League Soccer secondary transfer window opens today, Tuesday, July 9 and runs through August 7, 2019. Clubs are now permitted to register new signings.
Pursuant to FIFA regulations, in order to complete a signing, loan or transfer, an MLS club must request an International Transfer Certificate (“ITC”) from the national association where the player was last registered. For example, a player being transferred from Real Betis to an MLS side would need an ITC issued by the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF). This is known as the International Clearance Process. (See more at kennethrusso.com/fifa-regulations-on-the-transfer-of-players/)
A team may have negotiated and completed a deal prior to the transfer window; receipt of a player’s ITC is required in order to add a player to the official roster and for that player to be eligible to play in competitive matches.
A number of deals have already been completed leading up to the window. Deals completed
Intra-League Trades Also Open
Coinciding with the opening of the transfer window, the trade window within MLS for players once again is open, and runs until August 8th.
As a reminder, trades for non-player assets, including international roster slots, allocation money, allocation order slots and MLS SuperDraft picks, can take place any time and are not restricted by the transfer window periods.
Roster Freeze On The Horizon.
The 2019 Roster Freeze Date is August 30, 2019, at which time clubs must submit their final 30-man roster. Rosters cannot be changed from that date through the day after MLS Cup.
A report broadcast today by Radio La Red AM 910 in Buenos Aires (Twitter @radiolared) states that Argentine club Estudiantes De La Plata are close to reaching an agreement with Inter Miami CF that will bring winger Matías Pellegrini to the new MLS club.
The deal is reportedly for $10 million USD. Pellegrini would leave Estudiantes in February 2020 in time to join the Rosa y Negra for their debut in MLS in March 2020. Club Estudiantes de La Plata would also receive 10 percent of any future transfer of the player by Inter Miami.
Neither club has made any comment about the alleged deal. This is the second reported transfer of a player to Inter Miami. Last Friday, TyC Sports reported that Inter Miami and Club Atlético Banfield had reached a deal for Julián Carranza.
Pellegrini, who turned 19 on March 11th, is a native of Magdalena, Argentina. His primary positions are as a left winger and centre forward. He was promoted to the first team in August 2018, having been part of Estudiantes’ reserve (U20) squad prior to that. His first goal as a professional cane against Boca Juniors. He has made 15 appearances for Estudiantes this season, with three goals and one assist. He has logged 1,053 minutes across all competitions (903’ in Primera División and 150’ in the Copa Libertadores).
If true, and if the report from last Friday concerning attacker Julián Carranza’s transfer from CA Banfield is also accurate, then Inter will have spent $16 million USD to bring two young, talented and promising players from Argentina to Inter Miami. It’s a pretty strong statement about the club’s desire to make an immediate impact in MLS during the first season. It also mirrors the types of moves Sporting Director Paul McDonough made in his previous role with Atlanta United FC.
While there is no confirmation either of this transaction or Carranza’s, it is relevant to note that the summer transfer window in Argentina runs from July 3 to Sept. 24, 2019. Also, for MLS, the secondary transfer window is from July 9 to Aug. 7, 2019, and any deal, even if already agreed to, would generally not be announced until the window is open.
Here are clips from a recent game Pellegrini played for Estudiantes against Racing and a longer video featuring some of the player’s highlights from this season:
Update: Friday, July 12, 2019: Argentine sports media outlet TyC Sports continues to report that Pellegrini’s signing could be announced quickly and that the deal includes performance objectives that, if met, could make the deal worth $13 million dollars to Estudiantes de la Plata.
According to Argentine Sports Network TyCSports, Inter Miami have agreed on a $6 Million USD deal with Club Atlético Banfield for striker Julián Carranza. The 19-year-old will join the Rosa y Negra for the 2020 season. If true, this would make him the first signing by the new Miami side. There has been no official word from Inter Miami as of the time of this writing.
The deal reportedly includes additional compensation to be paid by Inter should Carranza meet certain performance bonuses. Also included is a ten percent sell-on clause in the event of a future transfer.
There has been much anticipation that Inter Miami were close to making a first signing announcement. In recent weeks. seemingly every well-known player at the end of his contract or being discussed as a transfer target has been linked with Inter Miami. However, something about this report seems more likely to be true, considering Sporting Director Paul McDonough’s history in building the roster of Atlanta United FC, and insights he has shared regarding the anticipated presence of South American players on the Inter Miami roster. McDonough’s building of the Atlanta United roster set the trend for big money signings of both established players (ex. Pity Martinez) and young players with great potential (ex. Ezequiel Barco) from Argentina.
According to sources, Italian Serie A side Genoa were targeting Carranza, having also been in Argentina and negotiating to sign Pedro De La Vega from Lanús.
Here is a video from Youtube that shows some clips from Carranza’s 2018-2019 season with Banfield.
Carranza, who turned 19 in May, is in his second season as a professional. He joined the senior squad of Banfield in 2017. Since then, he has made 29 career appearances for them, scoring 8 goals. He has logged 1,871 minutes across all competitions. Carranza featured in two matches for the Argentina U17 team at the 2017 South American Championship in Chile, and has also trained with the U20 team.
Prior to playing as a professional with El Taladro, Carranza came through Banfield’s academy system. He would join Inter Miami at the end of 2019 in order to be ready for the Rosa y Negra’s inaugural season in MLS in March 2020.
Miami, FL (Friday, February 15, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –
On Wednesday of this week, the 2019 MLS Primary Transfer Window, allowing clubs to now officially register their offseason additions. The 2019 window is open from February 13 until May 7 for transfers in to MLS Clubs.
Persuant to FIFA regulations, an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) is a requirement when completing an international transfer of a player. MLS teams are able to request International Transfer Certificates (ITC) from players’ former clubs to complete signings, loans and transfer deals.
With respect to outbound transfers, clubs may transfer or loan their players to non-MLS clubs at any time, subject to the transfer window of the recipient club’s national federation and subject to the consent of the player.
Major League Soccer maintains an official transactions page and transfer tracker; links are here:
Miami, FL (Wednesday, January 9, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –
He has the name that just sounds like a big-time player for Les Bleus. The quintessential compound first name.
Jean-Clair Todibo. And now ‘J-C’ Todibo has a big-time fútbol club to complement that classic name. He will join the Blaugrana when his contract with Toulouse Football Club expires on June 30, 2019.
Jean-Clair Todibo. You could not be blamed for asking “who?” Likewise, you may be asking yourself whether I have spent too much time with Football Manager 2019. Not so. Who?
The 19 year-old, right-footed, centre-back, born in Cayenne, French Guyana, is seen as one of the rising stars of French football. He has been capped twice for France’s U20 team. He has a market value of €8 million according to website Transfermarkt.com. Juventus was also in hot pursuit of Todibo’s services. He is described as a player who has a strong physical presence who can also play in midfield. Barcelona believe Todibo can serve as an alternative to Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen, both of whom have struggled with fitness problems during their times at the Camp Nou. For his part, the young player explains that he is inspired and models his style after players like Andrea Pirlo in midfield and Thiago Silva on defense.
How rapidly has Jean-Clair Todibo arrived in the spotlight? Consider these facts: Todibo had not played a professional match prior to the beginning of the 2018-19 season, yet within the first few matches he rapidly established himself as a key figure for Toulouse. He played his first match in Ligue 1 on August 19, 2018, against Girondins de Bordeaux. His first professional goal came in September – a late equaliser against Rennes that showcased his importance to the side. He celebrated his 19th birthday on December 30, and has played a total of 10 matches for the Pink City club, 836 minutes of playing time. His last appearance for Toulouse was November 3rd away to Strasbourg.
Todibo joined Toulouse Football Club’s U19 team on July 1, 2016, having been trained at Football Club Les Lilas, a club in the eastern Paris banlieu of Les Lilas, Seine-Saint-Denis. (Link: Players who have been trained at FC Les Lilas) One year later in 2017 he was already promoted to the Toulouse B squad.
The President of Toulouse, Olivier Sadran, was furious at the signing, saying the player had been “ill-advised” and disparaging Barcelona, added: “It is not very glorious coming from a big club, even if they legally have the right to. We also have our share of responsibility.” The best translation of this is that the Toulouse President is counting the Euros the club will not receive from Barça. Toulouse had tried to sign Todibo to a new contract, but talks broke down in November. Today, Sadran said in an interview with French sports daily L’Equipe that the deal is not complete. « Si vous m’appelez pour me demander si Todibo est à Barcelone et si je l’ai libéré, la réponse est non » (“If you call me and ask if Todibo is in Barcelona and if I have released him, the answer is no.”)
Barcelona was able to sign Todibo on what is commonly referred to as a “Bosman” signing, which takes its name from the famous Bosman ruling. Pursuant to Bosman, a player can now agree to a “pre-contract” with another club for a free transfer if the player’s contract with his existing club has six months or less remaining. The existing club does not receive a fee. As of January 1, 2019, the young centre-back was thus legally free to sign with a new team. Barcelona acted swiftly in presenting its offer to Todibo and his agent, BS & Partners.
Of course, nothing can guarantee that he will be the superstar envisioned. But given Barcelona and Juventus were in competition for his services, with Real Madrid reportedly also interested, it speaks to their belief in Todibo’s potential. Time will tell. You may not have heard the last of this name.
Todibo was pleased to be moving on to Barcelona. Here’s what he had to say:
« Je suis très heureux de m’être engagé avec le FC Barcelone à partir de juillet 2019. C’est plus qu’un club et je les remercie de leur confiance. C’est sera un nouvel étape dans ma jeune carrière et je mettrai toute ma détermination pour y réussir de grandes choses. En attendant, je reste un joueur du Toulouse FC et je suis disponible pour aider mes partenaires tant que je reste sous contrat. Le Tef m’a permit de grandir et de découvrir la Ligue 1 et je leur en serai éternellement reconnaissant. Merci. »
” Estoy muy feliz de haber firmado con el FC Barcelona a partir de julio 2019. Es más que un club y les agradezco su confianza. Será una nueva etapa en este inicio de mi carera y voy a poner todo de mi parte para conseguir grandes cosas. En este momento soy jugador de Toulouse FC y estoy disponible para ayudar a mis compañeros todo el tiempo que me queda en este club. El Tef me permitió crecer y descubrir la Ligue 1 y siempre estaré agradecido. Gracias.”