MLS Golden Boot holder Castellanos joins Girona on loan

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Valentin Castellanos has joined newly promoted LaLiga side Girona from New York City FC on a season-long loan.

Castellanos scored 19 goals in 32 matches last season to finish top of the Major League Soccer scoring charts and help NYCFC to their first-ever MLS Cup triumph.

The 23-year-old is level with Austin FC's Sebastian Driussi in the top-scorer standings this term, while also chipping in with two assists.

Having been linked with a move away from New York for the best part of 18 months, it was confirmed on Monday that Castellanos has joined Girona until June 2023.

The deal in place between NYCFC and Girona, who are both under the City Football Group (CFG) umbrella, does not contain the option to make the transfer permanent.

However, NYCFC sporting director David Lee is open to cashing in on Castellanos if the right offer is made, with his move to one of Europe's top leagues only heightening his profile.

"By Taty performing well in Europe, it will give us the opportunity to [sell] him at a higher valuation and a higher number than we've had so far in this transfer window," Lee said.

Castellanos has spent four-and-a-half years with NYCFC after joining from Uruguayan side Torque – another of their sister clubs – on an initial loan deal in 2018.

He is the second-highest scorer in NYCFC's history, behind only Spain great David Villa, with 50 goals in 109 regular-season matches.

"While it is difficult to leave this club, I strongly believe that this is the right time for me to move to Europe, which has always been a personal dream of mine," Castellanos said.

"I feel confident and ready for a new challenge. I'd like to thank NYCFC and Girona for giving me this opportunity and finding a way for me to continue my journey and prove myself."

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