Atlanta United sign Greece striker Giorgos Giakoumakis from Celtic

Atlanta United has completed the signing of Greece striker Giorgos Giakoumakis from Scottish champions Celtic, the clubs announced Wednesday.

The 28-year-old will cost Atlanta a reported fee of around $5.2 million and will be one of Atlanta's three designated players after signing a contract through the 2026 season. He had previously been linked with a move to the J-League's Urawa Red Diamonds.

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"Giorgos is a player who's been on the club's radar for a while and we're excited to bring him to Atlanta," Atlanta vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said.

"He's a powerful striker who loves to get in the box and score goals. He plays with a high intensity, works hard and is someone we think will help the team both in the attack and leading the line defensively. We're excited to welcome him to the club and integrate him into the squad."

Giakoumakis is set to replace Josef Martinez, whose contract was brought out last month before he joined Inter Miami. Atlanta's use of their one allowable offseason buyout of a guaranteed contract opened up salary space and a designated player spot on Atlanta's roster.

Martinez achieved legendary status in Atlanta, leading the team to MLS Cup in 2018 in a year in which he won both the league's MVP and Golden Boot awards, before struggling to regain form following an ACL tear at the start of 2020.

Giakoumakis will now be charged with helping Atlanta back to the playoffs after they missed out on the postseason for the second time in three years in 2022.

After spending three years with AEK Athens, Giakoumakis joined VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands where he enjoyed a stunning first season and finished as the Eredivisie's top scorer with 26 goals in 30 games.

That form earned him a move to Celtic, where he scored 13 goals in the Scottish Premiership to help the Glasgow giants to the title. Giakoumakis has started just four leagues games this season but has still managed to score six times and also netted a Champions League group stage goal against Shakhtar Donetsk.

At international level, Giakoumakis has scored two goals in 11 appearances for Greece.