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The 23-year-old striker gets his wish to play in La Liga, joins the newly-promoted club on one-year loan

Photograph by Katie Cahalin, courtesy

It’s time to press pause on #TatyWatch: Taty Castellanos will join La Liga side Girona FC on a one-year loan.

New York City FC made the official announcement earlier this hour, confirming a rumor that first surfaced last week. It was widely understood that when Castellanos started in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Inter Miami, it would be his last appearance for NYCFC.

The 23-year old striker didn’t score in that game, but he provided the game-winning assist to Maxi Moralez. Winner of the 2021 Golden Boot. Castellanos currently leads MLS with 13 goals in 21 games — the joking-not-joking line going around is that the 2022 Golden Boot winner will have an * next to his name.

Intriguingly, the term of the transfer is a loan and not a sale. It was speculated that Manchester City would buy his contract for the reported $15 million asking price, then loan him to Girona. All three clubs are a part of the City Football Group but are distinct financial and corporate entities per the rules of their respective leagues.

That would follow the template of the transfer of Jack Harrison, who was sold to Manchester for a reported $6 million and then loaned to Middlesborough and Leeds United. Manchester later sold the Harrison to Leeds for a reported $18 million.

By playing for Girona, which is playing in the first division after earning promotion last season, will allow him to prove himself in the more competitive La Liga while still allowing NYCFC to sell his contract at a later date.

Here is the full statement from NYCFC:

New York, N.Y., July 25, 2022

New York City Football Club (NYCFC) today announced that Forward Valentín “Taty” Castellanos has been loaned to LaLiga and City Football Group team Girona FC through June 2023.

Last season, Castellanos won the 2021 MLS Golden Boot, scoring 19 goals during the regular season and three goals during NYCFC’s 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs run, including one in the MLS Cup Final as NYCFC won its first ever MLS Cup Championship.

This season, Castellanos has scored 13 goals in league play, the current highest in MLS.

Castellanos said: “I came to New York City four years ago and this experience has been everything I could have wanted. It was here where I grew up and took my game to the next level. MLS is a strong and extremely competitive league with fantastic quality.

“I’ve always said that the people at the Club are incredible, it’s like a family. My teammates and the amazing staff that have spent so much time with me have helped me become the player I am today.

“I was so proud to be able to win the Golden Boot last year and help the team bring home the Club’s first MLS Cup for our fans – it is a special moment in my life and one that will live with me forever. Thank you to the best fans in the league for always supporting me and cheering me on every single game, you’ve given me so much belief over the years.

“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. 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 Mendoza, Argentina native originally joined NYCFC on loan in 2018 from fellow City Football Group club Montevideo City Torque, scoring in his debut match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Following his successful loan stint, the Club made his transfer permanent in November of that year.

Castellanos scored 53 goals and recorded 19 assists across 116 MLS regular season and MLS Cup Playoffs appearances for NYCFC. Castellanos is only the second player in NYCFC history to score 50+ goals for the Club. He also became the only player in Club history to score four goals in a single game during the Club’s 6-0 dominating performance against Real Salt Lake earlier this season.

NYCFC Sporting Director, David Lee, said: “I’d like to thank Taty for the amazing contribution he’s made to the Club since he joined us in 2018. 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.

“Taty joined Montevideo City Torque at a young age and will now have the opportunity to show what he can do at a Club we know well in one of the best leagues in Europe. His progression is also testament to the fantastic coaches we have here at NYCFC that are always looking to improve and support younger players. Taty is a prime example for the young players in our group that this is a great place to develop.

“We understand that he 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.

“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.”

Taty will leave New York City today and join Girona ahead of the start of the La Liga season in August.

Everyone at NYCFC would like to wish Taty all the best for his loan move to Girona FC.

TRANSACTION: New York City Football Club loans Forward Valentín Castellanos to Girona FC through June 2023