Girona FC signs Valentin Castellanos on year-long loan

Valentin Castellanos is headed to newly-promoted La Liga club Girona FC. 

New York City FC have loaned the forward to Girona through June 2023, keeping him within the City Football Group franchise. 

He now departs the Major League Soccer team after lifting the 2021 MLS Cup and Golden Boot, and tied with Sebastian Druissi as the league’s current top scorer with 13 goals. 

“I’d like to thank Taty for the amazing contribution he’s made to the club since he joined us in 2018,” sporting director David Lee said in a release.

“His work ethic and commitment has been second to none and it’s been a pleasure to watch him continually improve his game and become such an important player for our team and one of the best players in the league. From winning the Golden Boot last season and leading the line as we won our first MLS Cup, he’s written his name in the NYCFC history books.”

Castellanos first joined NYCFC in 2018, on loan from Uruguayan side Torque, another member of City Football Group’s global portfolio. An impressive campaign with the club earned him a full transfer in 2019. 

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After four years, he stands second in the team’s all-time scoring charts with 50 goals and 20 assists in 109 regular-season games, sitting only behind Spain national team star David Villa.

“While it is difficult to leave this club, I strongly believe that this is the right time for me to move to Europe which has always been a personal dream of mine,” Castellanos said in a release. “I feel confident and ready for a new challenge. I would like to thank NYCFC and Girona FC for giving me this opportunity and for finding a way for me to continue my journey and prove myself.”

The move concludes the transfer saga that saw NYCFC value Castellanos at $15m while refuting offers for anything lower. The team reportedly saw interest from Palmeiras and River Plate, but their valuation for the player did not satisfy the MLS team. 

Now, interim head coach Nick Cushing is likely to depend on Heber and Talles Magno up top, as the team continues their fight against the Philadelphia Union for leader of the Eastern Conference. 

“We understand that [Castellanos] is eager to test himself in a new league and this option is the best for all parties where we are able to continue to take a long-term view of his career and what we ultimately believe he is capable of,” Lee said.

“At NYCFC we have an incredible group of players with a variety of strong attacking options. We have a tremendous amount of belief in these players and our goals for the season remain the same.”

The team returns to action on Saturday when visiting CF Montreal at Saputo Stadium.

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