USMNT star Ricardo Pepi is finally set to make his transfer to the Bundesliga. The young striker has been heavily linked with Wolfsburg over the last few days, however FC Augsburg are set to hijack the deal.
Ricardo Pepi Set For Augsburg After Despite Wolfsburg Links
Wolfsburg Beaten by FC Augsburg For 18 Year Old’s signature.
The striker was captured at an airport on Saturday night leaving for Germany. He is set to arrive in Munich on Sunday morning and will be subjected to medical examinations throughout the day.
“Ricardo Pepi’s today in Munich together with his agent in order to undergo medical tests and sign five-year deal as new Augsburg player for $20m fee” as per Fabrizio Romano.
The reported $20 million that this transfer will cost the German side is slightly higher than the $15 million mentioned when Wolfsburg were trying to sign him. This, however, shows that Augsburg have faith in the youngster and that he will be involved in the first team from day one.
The move would make the American the most expensive sale ever from MLS. The previous record was Alphonso Davies who joined Bayern Munich for $13.5 million ( add ons not included.)
Augsburg May Rely On Inexperience To Avoid Relegation
FC Augsburg currently sit in 15th place in the German Bundesliga. They are only 1 point above the relegation zone and are potential candidates for the drop. The signing of Ricardo Pepi for $20 million suggests that he may be an important part of the team instantly upon his arrival.
Pepi was previously linked to Wolfsburg, who are currently 13th in the Bundesliga. He could have joined them, but should he have signed at the Volkswagen Arena, he may have had to have waited longer for a chance at regular game-time due to Wolfsburg’s impressive attacking options.
“The deal is not completely done, but is in the final stages. Pepi is en route to Germany to complete his medical on Sunday and make the move official.” according to MLSSoccer.com.
The move to Augsburg will prove to be a challenge as he faces a battle of survival with the club. They will hope that he replicates his MLS success in Germany. The striker won the MLS 2021 Young Player Of the Year and was also part of the MLS All-Star game.
FC Augsburg’s American Links
Parts of the Augsburg fanbase have questioned the transfer, according to Derek Rae. Augsburg have an American investor who has a 45% stake in the club’s ‘football arm.’ The move was dubbed by some as a marketing move to receive attention from the US market.
“The idea of bringing him in as an investor was to improve marketing, sponsorship opportunities in the US market for FC Augsburg.” according to Derek Rae.
The move would also break FC Augsburg’s transfer record suggesting that this transfer may have been funded by investors.