A deal to send Orlando City midfielder Yoshimar Yotún to Liga MX side Cruz Azul is done. The transfer is worth $4 million, league sources confirmed to Pro Soccer USA.
Orlando City officially announced Yotún’s transfer on Thursday.
Yotún, a Peruvian international who played in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and was Orlando City’s only 2018 MLS all-star, led the Lions in 2018 with 10 assists in league play. He also had four goals for the club.
Orlando City SC received a proposal from Cruz Azul last week via Yotún and his agent, a club source told Pro Soccer USA. Mexican outlet Récord — which reported a deal was close — had the proposal valued at $3.5 million. Orlando City executive vice president of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said the club worked to keep Yotún in Central Florida.
“Yoshi has been an important player for this club; however, he expressed interest in Cruz Azul at the conclusion of the season. We worked closely with him and his agent to keep him in Orlando, including offering new contract options,” Muzzi said in a statement.
“Ultimately, the player had his mind set on a move to Mexico, and we reached the best possible outcome for both him and the club. We thank Yoshi for his time with Orlando City and wish him the best of luck in the future.”
Yotún, 28, was originally signed as a designated player during the 2017 summer transfer window but was not a DP during the 2018 season.
Yotún made $599,996 in total compensation last season, according to the MLS Players Association. He was under contract for the 2019 season.
Orlando City has been busy so far this offseason. On Tuesday, the club also announced it had traded the rights to goalkeeper Joe Bendik to the Columbus Crew in exchange for $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. With the departures of Yotún and Bendik, Orlando City is now without 12 players who were on the 2018 roster.