Source: NYCFC determined Valentin 'Taty' Castellanos will remain despite Palmeiras interest

New York City FC are determined to hang on to striker Valentin "Taty" Castellanos, despite a recent offer from Brazilian Serie A side Palmeiras, a club source has told ESPN.

Recent reports from ESPN Brasil and Globoesporte.com pegged Palmeiras' offer at US$4 million, and that in a bid to force the issue Castellanos told NYCFC management that he no longer wanted to play for the team.

But the Blues are holding firm, especially since Castellanos is the only healthy striker on the roster, at least until Heber, who suffered a torn ACL back in September, returns some time this summer. Heber just returned to the U.S. from Brazil a little over a week ago to continue his rehabilitation.

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"NYCFC aren't surprised that they've received a good amount of interest in Taty this window, but he's not going to be sold," the source told ESPN. "They consider him an important player for the team. They need him and want to keep him."

Castellanos has shown consistent improvement since being loaned to New York midway through the 2018 campaign. After scoring once during that season and later making the loan permanent, Castellanos tallied 11 times and added seven assists in 2019, and then scored six times with three assists during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. Castellanos is also off to a solid start in 2021, scoring twice in two matches. His NYCFC contract expires in December of 2022.

The Argentine started his professional career with Universidad de Chile in 2017 before being loaned to Montevideo City later that year. He went on to score five goals in 23 league and cup appearances for Montevideo.

At international level, Castellanos has made six appearances for Argentina's under-23 team.