Former New York City FC striker Valentin Castellanos will remain in Europe and play for one of the biggest clubs in Italy: The Taty Castellanos Lazio transfer was finalized last night, according to reports. Lazio is reportedly paying a €15 million fee plus incentives to sign the 24-year-old, making it one of the most lucrative transfers in the history of MLS.
It is understood that the deal will be formally announced by the clubs on Tuesday, July 18. But earlier this morning, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano tweeted the news: It’s now gospel to the football faithful.
Romano is following up on a report posted by Argentine journalist César Luis Merlo last night. As chronicled in Hudson River Blue’s ongoing #Tatywatch feature, representatives of Castellanos, Lazio, and NYCFC were known to be meeting last week in Rome.
Earlier rumors linked Castellanos to AS Roma in Italy, SL Benfica in Portugal, and West Ham United in England.
The €15 million fee makes it among the Top 50 transfers in Europe during this summer transfer window, according to the Guardian. It also ranks as the sixth-highest transfer fee in the history of MLS, and incentives could make it climb even higher. Bayern Munich paid a $13 million fee to the Vancouver Whitecaps for Alphonso Davies, but incentives brought the final payment up to $22 million.
This ends a transfer saga that started in December 2021, after NYCFC won the MLS Cup and Castellanos was widely expected to make the move to Europe. He instead remained with New York City through the start of the 2022 season, but left during the summer to join La Liga’s Girona FC on loan.
Castellanos scored 13 goals for Girona in 35 games, helping a mid-market team that returned to the top flight just that year finish the season in 10th place, just four points off qualifying for the Europa Conference League. His four goals against Real Madrid on April 25 made headlines in Europe, and helped him finish the season at number eight on the list of top goal scorers, just behind Atlético Madrid’s Álvaro Morata and ahead of Real Madrid superstar Vinícius Júnior.
Castellanos scored 49 goals for NYCFC in 101 appearances, including goals in each of his playoff games during the club’s title-winning season in 2021.