Timbers sign Argentine Diego Valeri to Designated Player contract

Doug Pensinger

The 26-year-old midfielder comes to the Timbers on a one-year loan with an option to buy.

In probably the biggest signing of the this MLS offseason, the Portland Timbers formally announced the signing of Argentine midfielder Diego Valeri to a Designated Player contract on Thursday. Valeri will come to the Timbers on a one-year loan from Club Atletico Lanus. The Timbers will have the option to make the move permanent at the end of the year.

"Valeri is a tremendous acquisition and his desire to join the Portland Timbers was an integral part in getting him on loan," Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement. "At his age and with his ability, we expect to be in a position to purchase this player and make him a permanent fixture in Portland."

Valeri, 26, has played nine season with Lanus, during which he's gone on loan to such clubs as FC Porto in Portugal and Almeria in Spain. He has scored 25 goals in 158 Argetine Primera matches. He's also earned three caps with the Argentina national team, all since 2011.

Reportedly, countryman Javier Morales helped convince Valeri to give MLS a try.

"I am very happy and this, for me, is a beautiful opportunity," Valeri said. "I always wanted to play in MLS. I’m grateful that the Portland Timbers have given me this chance."

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