Luciano Acosta is back.
The long-rumored deal between Acosta and FC Cincinnati is finalized a source closes to the situation tells FanSided’s ‘MLS Multiplex.’ As if there was any doubt, the deal makes Acosta a Designated Player according to the source.
The deal is expected to be announced by Monday with a transfer fee of $3 million bringing Acosta, with Liga MX club Atlas the past year, back to MLS.
As previously reported by the Washington Post’s Steve Goff, FC Cincinnati will send $325,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) this year to D.C. United and $225,000 next year for the rights for Acosta. Numerous outlets have announced the signing is imminent including Laurel Pfahler.
Set to turn 27-years old in May, Acosta left MLS last year but he has had incredible success in the league and earned a reputation as one of the best creative midfielders in the past five years. Over four seasons beginning in 2016, Acosta played in 126 games (109 starts with 9,400 minutes played). During that time he registered 24 goals and 35 assists.
His best season came in 2018 where he had 10 goals and 17 assists in 33 appearances. His form playing alongside former England international Wayne Rooney garnered serious transfer interest from Ligue 1 club Paris St. Germain (PSG) the ensuing offseason.
MLS ended up turning down the offer from PSG for the then D.C. United star, despite the interest generating one of the highest transfer bids in league history.
The return of Acosta to MLS is another pivotal part of the rebuild of the FC Cincinnati midfield. They finished bottom of the league table in addition to posting a league-worst -24 goal differential. In 16 matches, they scored just 12 goals and struggled in the final-third to create chances.
Earlier this month, the club signed 21-year old forward Brenner from Sao Paulo, adding a creative element with a strong record of finishing in one of the world’s top leagues.
The additions of Brenner and Acosta represent a significant financial investment from FC Cincinnati ahead of the May 16 opening of West End Stadium, the club’s awaited soccer-specific stadium. In their previous two seasons in MLS, the club has been playing at Nippert Stadium, the football stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.