Cruz Azul place bid for new striker

Just days after losing the Liga MX Clausura final to Club América, Azul is in the market for a goalscorer and believes they have found their man.
Chicago Fire FC v Atlanta United FC
Chicago Fire FC v Atlanta United FC / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

In the second leg of the Clausura final, Azul recorded 13 shots with five on target, all whilst failing to score as city-rivals Club América went on to lift the title.

Building up to the final, multiple reports suggested that the club targeted former Atalanta striker Duván Zapata. The 33-year-old helped the Bergamo club reach the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history before move to Torino in 2023. Scoring 12 goals from 33 appearances in the Italian top flight this season, Azul placed a bid for the forward but it seems that a $14 million bid was not enough for the move to surface.

Turning their attention away from the Colombian, Los Azules placed a formal $10 million bid for Atlanta United forward Giōrgos Giakoumakīs, as reported by Fabrizio Romano. The Greek International is reportedly keen on the move, as told by Romano.

Giakoumakīs may be the missing piece of the puzzle for Azul. Despite their strong defensive performance in the Clausura, their lack of goals hindered their efforts to secure the 2024 final. Although they finished second in the regular season, Azul had the tenth-best goals-per-game record (1.3). Among the teams that reached the Clausura playoffs, only Chivas had a worse record. Uriel Antuna was their top scorer with 9 goals, while Ángel Sepúlveda and Ignacio Rivero were next with only 3 goals each.

The Greek forward is comfortable both inside and outside the box. Having scored prolifically for Atlanta and previously Celtic, he has netted 49 goals in 92 games for the two clubs. He has also started the new MLS campaign in fine form, scoring five times in his first 10 games of the season.

Giakoumakīs has demonstrated a diverse set of skills, scoring with both feet and his head. His exceptional game-reading ability and movement make him a constant threat to opposition defenders, especially in the six-yard box. He also has a knack for winning silverware, having secured the SPL title in Scotland twice and the Greek Super League with AEK Athens in 2018.

Azul is eager to secure his signature before the upcoming international tournaments. Greek national manager Gus Poyet has included the forward in their provisional Euro 2024 squad. Giakoumakīs, who debuted in 2020, will be looking to add to his four national goals in 22 appearances.

Reports suggest that América are also interested in the striker's services, so Azul will need to be quick to ensure that the Atlanta talisman signs the dotted line before it is too late.