Transfer round-up: Lucas Martínez Quarta the big mover in busy window

Football in Argentina is yet to return and financial troubles have led to an understandably quiet window within the country but a late flurry of transfer activity in Europe saw a number of Argentinian players on the move.

Rushed through before the Serie A market closed Lucas Martínez Quarta finally completed his move to Fiorentina following months of speculation linking the 24-year-old away from River Plate.

A €12 million transfer fee was eventually agreed with the Viola paying half of that amount up front and a medical swiftly overseen at Ezeiza saw Martínez Quarta make the deserved leap to Europe.

The centre-back could then report for international duty without having to travel to Italy.

With over 100 appearances for River since making his debut in November 2016, only four players have featured more under Marcelo Gallardo during that period, and his absence will be felt going forward.

Despite some inconsistencies during his four years with the first team, Martínez Quarta has been at his best since the Copa Libertadores restarted and the River defender is now expected to line-up in Lionel Scaloni’s first choice Argentina XI.

Cash strapped River get a welcome boost to their funds and so too do Martínez Quarta’s boyhood club Kimberley de Mar Del Plata, who receive 15% of the fee.

And it’s not just the Argentina defender who will be lining up in Serie A this season. Parma snapped up not one but two of Golazo’s players to watch in 2020 with the double signing of Lanús’ Lautaro Valenti and Godoy Cruz’s Juan Brunetta.

Both players arrive on initial loan deals but have signed deals until 2025 with obligations to make the moves permanent.

21-year-old Valenti having enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Lanús has made a rapid ascent while 23-year-old Brunetta has finally come good on the promise shown at Arsenal as a teenager. A few years struggling for form at Belgrano and initially in Mendoza eventually led to Brunetta being courted by both Boca Juniors and River Plate prior to getting his European opportunity.

Under-17 international Bruno Amione swapped Belgrano for Hellas Verona for the bargain price of around €1.7 million. Despite being one of the brightest defensive prospects in Argentina, Primera Nacional club Belgrano were unable to hold on to the powerful teenager with El Pirata feeling the pinch more than most now they are out of Argentina’s top flight.

While Juan Molina joined Udinese on a free transfer after rejecting the chance to sign a new deal at Boca Juniors. The right-back had spent the season on loan at Rosario Central where the 22-year-old had impressed but in the knowledge that chances were hard to come by at La Bombonera, the academy product took the opportunity to facilitate his move as a free agent.

There were no shortage of new faces arriving to Spain either with Elche responsible for more than half. Jorge Almirón’s appointment as manager and agent Cristian Bragarnik’s status as club owner saw the Argentinian market heavily used.

Versatile full-back Juan Sánchez Miño arrived soon after having agreed to rescind his contract with Independiente and before the window shut, more followed.

Former River Plate youngster Lucas Boyé came in loan from Torino after ending his spell in England with Championship side Reading and deadline day moves for Iván Marcone, Diego Rodríguez and Emiliano Rigoni were completed.

Marcone penning a loan deal after slipping down the pecking order at Boca to be reunited with the coach with who he won the Primera title at Lanús.

And it wasn’t the only reunion for Almirón – Goalkeeper Ruso Rodríguez and speed merchant Emiliano Rigoni both played under the Elche manager at Independiente.

However, perhaps the most significant transfer to La Liga was Nahuel Bustos departing Talleres for Girona.

The 22-year-old scored nine goals last season and after lengthy speculation was signed by Manchester City’s parent company The City Group for €6.5 million (65%). This in turn saw Bustos join affiliate club Girona on a loan deal and will now hope for greater success than the striker achieved on his brief stint in Mexico.

Vélez Sarsfield lost a couple more of their academy products with attacking left-back Braian Cufré joining Real Mallorca and attacking midfielder Lucas Robertone signing with Segunda side Almería. Two more starting roles that Mauricio Pellegrini will need to fill at Vélez ahead of the long awaited restart in Argentina.

Almería brought in Robertone but sent midfielder Valentin Vada out on loan to Tenerife while Rosario Central goalkeeper Jeremías Ledesma joined Cadiz.

Already reaping the rewards, Ledesma has performed well for his new club and was called up to the Argentina squad after Juan Musso suffered an injury in training.

And it’s not just been across the Atlantic, the trend of players jumping north to MLS continues. Atlanta United looked to Argentina once more when replacing Pity Martínez and snapped up Lanús midfielder Marcelino Moreno as their new Designated Player.

Minnesota United did the same when bringing in Emanuel Reynoso from Boca Juniors and two hugely promising young players made the move. Vélez winger Álvaro Barreal joined Cincinnati while Institute forward Mateo Bajamich signed for Houston Dynamo after weeks of negotiations.

All this and the headlining act of Gonzalo Higuaín leaving Juventus for Inter Miami further evidence to suggest that the MLS transfers will only keep increasing.