Gonzalo Pineda hints at Atlanta United transfers & addresses Josef Martinez future
Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda has revealed the club plans to add 'at least three players' ahead of the new MLS season.
Pineda is looking to guide the Five Stripes back into the MLS Cup Playoffs after missing out for the second time in three years in 2022.
However, the club will have to adjust to another winter of change, with the likes of George Campbell, Alan Franco, Marcelino Moreno, and Emerson Hyndman already departing. Naturally given the level of outgoings, supporters are a little nervous about the depth of the roster, but Pineda has given assurances that reinforcements are on the way.
“There might be at least three players coming and different positions,” Pineda told reporters. “We know which ones, but we'll be announcing that sooner.”
Josef Martinez nearing Atlanta United exit
It's no secret by now that Josef Martinez is heading for the Atlanta United exit door.
The Venezuelan striker is an icon in the city and the club's all-time record goalscorer. However, his relationship with the Five Stripes has seemingly soured over the past couple of seasons and, now, he appears close to joining MLS rivals Inter Miami.
Until now, the club had not publicly addressed Martinez's future, but Pineda has now confirmed something is in the works and that the striker is even training separately to avoid picking up an injury.
“As you have read probably, there are some things going on, and if a trade happens, we don't want him to be in risk of injury or anything like that,” Pineda said of Martinez. “With that, we prefer to have him on the side training, just fitness to get him up to the standard that he should be.”
Upon Martinez's departure, Atlanta United would be left extremely light at the No.9 spot, with 21-year-old Jackson Conway the only natural option in that spot. But again, Pineda has been keen to state that the club are working on a replacement goalscorer this transfer window.
“Hopefully we can have news sooner rather than later,” Pineda said, adding: “That's what the front office is working on at the moment.”