New York City FC ended a three-game losing and goalless streak against rivals New York Red Bulls on Sunday with a 1-0 win. The goalscorer? Who else but Taty Castellanos.
Last season's Golden Boot winner tops the standings again this time with 13 strikes in 16 MLS appearances - a record extended to 17 in 22 across all competitions.
Castellanos shared a long embrace with interim NYCFC boss Nick Cushing at the final whistle at Red Bull Arena, where the Argentine struck in the 69th minute to keep his side second in the Eastern Conference.
And in the hours after, the player's Instagram story was littered with messages appearing to suggest he was on the move, tying in with previous comments stating his desire to leave NYCFC.
“I’ve been in this league for a while, and I would like to keep growing. Being young and having the opportunity to go to Europe to another league, I think it would be something great and a dream for me. Sometimes you’re not ready yet and it’s not the right time, but right now I think I am in my best moment,” he said earlier in July.
90min reached out to a source with knowledge of the situation, who insisted Castellanos' price tag is yet to be met and that reports linking NYCFC with Luis Suarez as a possible replacement are wide of the mark.
For his part, Cushing praised the professionalism of Castellanos - just the second player in club history to reach 50 regular-season goals alongside David Villa - who, he said, remains 'really committed' to doing his best with NYCFC.
"Last season, the Golden Boot speaks for itself, and then this year, he's still scoring goals, he's still up there, he's still leading on the goal-scoring chart," Cushing said. "I think for him, it's the type of guy that he is. He's a really good guy, he's really committed. For myself, being interim head coach, he's shown me full support and full dedication to the way I want to adjust the team."
With or without Castellanos, NYCFC host Inter Miami on Saturday in their next match.