- By Doug Roberson The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta United has agreed to sell the rights to midfielder Yamil Asad to D.C. United for at least $500,000 in Allocation Money. The deal depends upon loan documents being signed and player terms being agreed to with D.C. United. If those don’t happen, Atlanta United will retain Asad’s rights.
Asad scored seven goals, including the first in Atlanta United’s history, and added 13 assists last season in helping the Five Stripes become the first MLS expansion team since Seattle in 2009 to make the playoffs.
Asad, 23, was on loan with Atlanta United from Velez Sarsfield in Argentina.
Asad had an annual salary of $150,000 last season. Atlanta United approached him before the end of the season with a contract offer of three years guaranteed and an annual salary of at least $300,000. Asad wanted significantly more.
Atlanta United approached Asad several more times in the offseason, to no avail. When it became clear that they couldn’t sign him, the team used the funds to acquire Darlington Nagbe in a trade with Portland.
Recently, Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino said he told Asad he was making a mistake not returning to the team.
After Atlanta United sold Carlos Carmona in January, the team made one more attempt to sign Asad. Atlanta United offered another multi-year guaranteed contract with an increased annual salary. He wanted either more salary or a shorter guaranteed contract. Atlanta United declined and began to receive trade offers for Asad’s rights from several MLS teams.
Atlanta United acquired Ezequiel Barco for an MLS record transfer fee of $15 million to play in the left midfield of an attack that scored 70 goals last season.
According to an ESPN report, D.C. United will pay Velez Sarsfield $300,000 with an option to make the loan permanent for $700,000.
Atlanta United’s home opener, and second game of the regular season, is March 11 against D.C. United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.