Aké Loba has agreed to personal terms with Liga MX side Mazatlán. As reported by Cesar Luis Merlo, all that remains is an agreement with Nashville SC on a transfer fee.
Loba arrived in Nashville as a Designated Player in July 2021 on a club-record deal for a reported $6.8 million dollars. His contract runs through 2023 with a club option for the 2024 season.
Since joining the Boys in Gold, Loba has been a disappointment with inconsistent playing time and only two goals in MLS play. In 2022, Loba made 21 league appearances and failed to start a single match.
If a transfer with Mazatlán is completed, it would see Loba return to Liga MX. The Ivorian striker had previous stints with Monterrey and Querétaro.
Loba’s future with Nashville has been the biggest topic of Nashville’s offseason. By moving on from Loba, Mike Jacobs will open up a Designated Player slot that could again be used to address the striker position.
UPDATE: MLSSoccer.com‘s Tom Bogert has additionally reported on the Loba transfer, with sources confirming to Broadway Sports Media that while the deal with Mazatlán hasn’t been officially finalized, talks are advanced.
Getting Loba off the books was a major priority for Nashville in the offseason, and recouping part of his $6.8 million transfer fee is not insignificant after Loba failed to make a meaningful impact on the field. Nashville will also receive sell-on fees from Alistair Johnston’s transfer to Celtic and Daniel Ríos’s move to Chivas.
Nashville will now have an open Designated Player spot with which to work, and desperately need to sign a striker who can elevate the team and contribute consistent goals.
We will have more on any potential Loba transfer as the story develops.