New York City FC are close to finalizing a deal to sign 19-year-old forward Agustín Ojeda from Racing Club de Avellaneda, according to reports in Argentina. The right-footed left-winger has three goals and two assists in 23 appearances this season, including a goal against Atletico Nacional in the knockout round of the Copa Libertadores in August, 2023.
Called “the jewel” of the Racing academy by Argentine newspaper La Nacion, he scored in his first professional start last July. Transfer guru César Luis Merlo posted that NYCFC made a formal offer, and final negotiations with Racing director Leandro Adonio Belli are underway.
According to a report from Racing de Alma, NYCFC will pay Racing Club $5.5 million to sign Ojeda, plus another $2 million if performance benchmarks are met. La Nacion reports that Ojeda’s contract has a $16 million buyout clause. But Racing de Alma reports that a club representative told the publication that “the player is interested in going.”
Standing at just 5′ 5″, Ojeda could be competing for minutes on NYCFC’s left wing with Talles Magno. Or he might be brought in as a replacement: Talles Magno is reportedly looking to leave New York City, with Bologna FC rumored to be a possible destination.
Another possibility is that Talles Magno will continue to be the starter of choice for NYCFC head coach Nick Cushing at the start of the 2024 season while Ojeda acclimates to the pace and physicality of MLS. That would allow Talles Magno to improve what has been an uneven run with New York City, both increasing his value and giving him more options when the primary transfer window opens in Europe this summer.
Ojeda looks to be a different player from Talles Magno. A pacey winger who uses his speed to get in behind the defense, Ojeda isn’t afraid to make direct runs at the goal. Where Talles Magno uses his dribbling skills to move the ball, Ojeda relies on a good first touch and his acceleration to beat his defender.
Should Ojeda join NYCFC, he adds more youth to an already young team. New York City signed Julián Fernández, now 20, to become the team’s starting right winger last summer. The club are now being linked with Jovan Mijatović, an 18-year-old striker with Red Star Belgrade who scored nine goals in 19 appearances in all comps this season.
The three could combine for one of the most exciting – and almost certainly the youngest – attacking lines in the league this year.