Update: According to ESPN, the numbers shake down to $750k in GAM, $300k in TAM, and an additionall $500-600k in incentives. Portland will also get an international roster spot, and a percentage of Nagbe’s next sale. Atlanta is also taking Gbenga Arokoyo, who still hasn’t recovered from rupturing his Achilles early this year, which will free up around $200k in cap space for the Timbers.
Update: Sam Stejskal says this move was prompted by Nagbe asking for a large raise during the season.
Adding to the Nagbe reports: Sources tell me he asked for raise to $1m per year from $550k during the season. Portland balked at the price, started exploring trade options once Porter left.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) December 11, 2017
The offseason has begun and already multiple reports are already surfacing that link Portland Timbers star Darlington Nagbe with a move to new Eastern Conference side Atlanta United.
New York based soccer journalist Kristian Dyer was the first to tweet out the news linking Atlanta to Nagbe in a deal that would send a significant amount of allocation money to the Timbers in a year when the club could be looking to build around the vision of a new coach.
Hearing from multiple sources that Atlanta is looking to acquire Darlington Nagbe... If a deal were to go through then I'm being told it would be for an amount that would have Clips Dom Dwyer's fee to Orlando earlier this year.— Kristian Dyer (@KristianRDyer) December 11, 2017
Dyer’s scoop was quickly reinforced by tweets from ESPN’s Taylor Twellman — a generally reliable source for MLS player moves — and Steve Zakuani — a close friend of Nagbe’s who also said that the move would be for a record amount of allocation money in a follow up tweet.
Hearing Nagbe could be on the move to @ATLUTD in the near future. #MLS— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) December 11, 2017
A couple of folks have now said it, and it was hard to keep in but Darlington Nagbe is very likely to be playing for Atlanta United next season. My sources are good!— Steve Zakuani (@Zakuani11) December 11, 2017
Nagbe has been a key part of the Timbers’ game plan and is vital to the team’s ability to transition into the attack. However, the tricky midfielder’s production of goals and assists has often come under fire since setting a high bar in 2013 with nine goals and four assists.
Losing out on Nagbe would leave the Timbers with a significant void to fill in the midfield, both on the wing in his usual starting spot as well as in the center of the pitch where Nagbe has been a regular depth piece for the Timbers in the absence of Diego Chara or David Guzman. However, with a potential windfall from Nagbe’s transfer and the recent infusion of targeted allocation money from the league, the Timbers would have significant flexibility to reshape their side going into the 2018 season.
What do you think of this rumored transfer? How should the Timbers fill the hypothetical hole left by such a trade? Let us know in the comments.