The Pity Martinez era for Atlanta United wasn't a smash success on the field, but it at least yielded a bit of a profit.
Atlanta United has agreed to sell the Argentine star to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr for $18 million, according to multiple reports, which will bring an end to his time with the club after less than two seasons. On the club's pregame show prior to Wednesday night's 0-0 draw vs. Inter Miami, Atlanta president Darren Eales indicated a deal has been agreed to "in principle."
Martinez, who joined Atlanta after garnering South American Player of the Year honors for his exploits at River Plate, had seven goals and 11 assists in 39 MLS regular-season appearances and an additional two assists in two postseason games while also helping the club lift the 2019 U.S. Open Cup trophy. It was his goal that was ultimately the game-winner vs. Minnesota United in the final.
Martinez didn't fully meet the expectations that came with a $14 million price tag, though, often clashing with former manager Frank de Boer. He scored twice in Atlanta's first match back in action following the MLS Is Back tournament, under interim coach Stephen Glass, and flashed moments of that anticipated brilliance, just not consistently enough.
Atlanta will take home a profit of a few million dollars on the sale, adding up to a windfall of about $45 million from this and its sale of Miguel Almiron to Newcastle in January 2019 (though not all goes directly to the club due to MLS's structure). Martinez's departure opens up a Designated Player spot for the Five Stripes, who have been active in turning over their roster this season and have recently signed Mexican standouts Jurgen Damm and Cubo Torres. The club is still in search of a new permanent manager, as well, and is playing for the remainder of the season without injured goal machine Josef Martinez. After its draw vs. Inter Miami, it carries a record of 3-4-1, good for ninth in the Eastern Conference.
As for Pity Martinez, he'll head to a club that's currently second in Saudi Arabia's top flight, six points out of first with two matches to play. He'll play for former Benfica manager Rui Vitoria and team with the likes of Nigerian striker Ahmed Musa and Moroccan duo Nordin Amrabat and Abderrazak Hamdallah, with the latter leading the league in scoring (27).