New York City FC: The transfer saga of Valentín Castellanos

Apr 17, 2021; Washington, DC, Washington, DC, USA; D.C. United defender Frederic Brillant (13) and New York City FC midfielder Valentin Castellanos (11) track the ball during the second half at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2021; Washington, DC, Washington, DC, USA; D.C. United defender Frederic Brillant (13) and New York City FC midfielder Valentin Castellanos (11) track the ball during the second half at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

For the last few months, New York City FC forward Valentín Castellanos has faced transfer rumors, specifically to Palmeiras

Before the season could even start for New York City FC, forward Valentín Castellanos was a wanted man, specifically by Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras.  The transfer rumors began back in January, when Goal Brazil reported the Brazilian team had interest in the 22 year old, and would attempt to acquire him on loan.  Castellanos can play both as a winger and striker, and it is no surprise he was wanted by other clubs after his solid 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Evidently, any current move for the Argentine is not ideal, for he is the only player that can play as a striker while Héber is recovering from his ACL injury.  He is also the leading goal scorer from the shortened 2020 season, with six goals.

Unfortunately for NYCFC fans, the rumors out of Brazil were loud, especially throughout February.  Reports surfaced that contact between both clubs was made, and with Castellanos as well.  But in the end, the loan deal never transpired, and the striker joined the Pigeons for preseason.

However, the rumors, would not stop, and neither did Palmeiras.  According to Argentine journalist César Luis Merlo, an official bid to buy Castellanos was made, but NYCFC rejected the bid.  So what does the Brasileiro Série A team do?  The club ups the offer from about $2.5 million to $4 million.  Palmeiras ultimately is serious about signing Castellanos, and right now there a large question mark for what the future holds for him in the Bronx.

Additionally, since reports of the new bid emerged, there have been many unverified reports on Twitter that a deal for the transfer of Castellanos was completed.  Yet, Daniel Bocatto and Francisco De Laurentiis of ESPN Brazil reported the negotiation “has advanced and is well underway”.  The only reason a deal has completely not been reached is because Castellanos is the only available striker for NYCFC.

Thankfully, the Pigeons will not make such a lucrative deal until they can sign a replacement.  Although, recent reports from Argentine journalist Germán García Grova stated NYCFC has agreed to the transfer and will search for another striker.  Still, it is not clear whether it would be before or after such a move is finalized.  Moreover, a report from also said the Pigeons will need to “find another striker to let him out”.

Furthermore, Castellanos stated publicly that he would like to play for Palmeiras.  He understands though an agreement between the two clubs has to be in place, and thus far is not forcing a move.  Instead, the Argentine continues to give his all for NYCFC, and has already scored two goals this season.  His maturity throughout the transfer saga is well noted, and if the transfer can eventually take place, then it should.

Yes, Castellanos is developing into a productive striker.  He could become the next big player in Major League Soccer.  On the other hand, NYCFC has the means to sign a talented and reliable striker as a Designated Player.  More than likely there will be someone to take the place of Castellanos, and he wants to and is willing to go to Palmeiras.  His maturity, and then what he has done for the club, are reasons enough to let the move occur once NYCFC has a replacement that can score goals.

To add, economically, the deal is one that is hard to pass.  The Pigeons would receive payments via installments over the next few years, and eventually receive the full amount.  Then, the next time Castellanos is sold, they would receive a portion from that sale.

Right now, selling the Argentine would not be smart.  But Palmeiras are highly interested in him, and are willing to spend the big bucks.  If NYCFC can convince the Brazilian side to wait until they can sign a replacement, then this can be a transfer that benefits both parties.  Palmeiras currently sit in 7th place, and obviously need reinforcements.  NYCFC has the means to sign a talented striker, especially as a Designated Player.  And, Castellanos would like to move to Brazil.

This transfer saga has been a rollercoaster for both clubs and the fans.  What occurs next depends on patience, mainly from Palmeiras, and then the transfer market.  But for now, Valentín Castellanos is still a New York City FC player.  For how long?  Is it a week, a few months, or even longer?  Well, that is to be determined.