Atlanta United pursuing deal to sign Derrick Etienne Jr as free agent

Chris Smith
Etienne Jr is an attractive prospect as a free agent.
Etienne Jr is an attractive prospect as a free agent. / Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Atlanta United are pursuing a deal to sign forward Derrick Etienne Jr as a free agent, 90min understands.

Etienne is now free to talk to other MLS clubs after his contract with the Columbus Crew expired. Having contributed a career-best nine goals and six assists in 33 regular-season appearances in 2022 and only turning 26 later this month, Etienne is an attractive prospect.

First reported by Tom Bogert, a source within the league has told 90min that Atlanta United are working on a deal to bring Etienne to Mercedes-Benz Stadium and that the player has already visited the club's facilities as part of the negotiations.

That said, 90min understands there are multiple other MLS clubs showing interest in Etienne - a 37-time Haiti international - and that there is still work to do if the Five Stripes are to win the race for his signature.

Prior to his 90-game spell with the Crew, during which he scored 12 goals and lifted MLS Cup and Campeones Cup titles, Etienne spent time with the New York Red Bulls and FC Cincinnati. During his professional career so far, he's managed 33 goals and 22 primary assists in 236 appearances across all competitions.

Just entering his prime, with goal threat, and the ability to play right across the forward line, it's little surprise that Etienne is a top target for Atlanta United, who are looking to significantly bolster their roster after finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference last season, missing out on the Playoffs for the second time in three years.

Iconic striker Josef Martinez is set to depart the club this offseason, while Brazilian forward and Designated Player Luiz Araujo has failed to produce the sort of consistency required for Atlanta United to challenge for top honors.

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