Giorgios Giakoumakis is headed to Major League Soccer. Atlanta United stand as the frontrunners to sign the Celtic striker, edging out former favorites Urawa Red Diamonds.
Sources close to 90min can confirm the deal is imminent, as both sides finalize the details.
The striker will serve as a replacement for Atlanta United legend Josef Martinez, who joined Eastern Conference opponents Inter Miami last week. He could join as a Designated Player, as Atlanta United currently occupy just two of the allotted three roster slots.
The Greek would add experience to the young roster, after having featured in UEFA Champions League and Europa League campaigns. Giakoumakis first kicked off with AEK Athens in 2017, before seeing stints at OFI, Gornik Zabrze, VVV-Venlo, and most recently, Celtic.
He became an integral part of the Scottish Premiership club after signing in 2021. Giakoumakis has managed 26 goals in 40 appearances for Celtic, inspiring them to the 2021/22 league title.
Atlanta needs the reinforcement, suffering throughout the 2022 Major League Soccer campaign before concluding in 11th place on the Eastern Conference table to miss out on playoffs. The roster was plagued by injuries and lacked the necessary depth to cope with the absences.
But key players will return in 2023, with the most prominent figure Miles Robinson back to defend. With a strong backline, and Giakoumakis in the forefront, head coach Gonzalo Pineda may just have enough to get Atlanta United back to its championship-winning ways.
The team kicks off the 2023 campaign on February 25 when hosting the San Jose Earthquakes at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.