ATLANTA — Will the King be back -- or will he be sent packing?
Atlanta United opened up Monday on discussions regarding the future of Josef Martinez with the club after The Athletic published a story last month saying that he was not in the team's plans.
Carlos Bocanegra, vice president and technical director, said during a press availability he has spoken with Martinez and his agent a couple of times and that they were "really positive."
The article said that the two met on Oct. 20 and that the No. 9 was told he would not be a part of the club's future.
He said to the media on Monday that the discussions have been "really clear and open" but that he would not share exactly what was discussed -- only saying that there was "no riff" between Martinez and the team.
Despite the Venezuelan DP having an active contract with the team, Bocanegra would only say that there is "nothing definitive."
With the World Cup set to begin on Nov. 20, Bocanegra said that it is typical for discussions to slow down -- adding that this is also the time of the year when MLS clubs will "poke and prod" to see what players may be available via trade or transfer.
Martinez has a guaranteed contract with Atlanta through 2023.
Atlanta United also announced its year-end roster moves ahead of the 2023 MLS season on Monday. In addition to the 24 players already under contract for 2023, the club exercised contract options on Ozzie Alonso, George Campbell, Jackson Conway, Aiden McFadden, Miles Robinson, Matheus Rossetto and Juanjo Purata.
The club declined contract options on Dylan Castanheira, Raúl Gudiño and Bryce Washington.
Mikey Ambrose, Alex De John and Amar Sejdic are out of contract. The club remains in active discussions with Sejdic.
The loans for Ronaldo Cisneros and Rocco Ríos Novo expire at the end of the calendar year.
>> Watch Bocanegra speak to the media here:
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