Atlanta United midfielder Darlington Nagbe is heading back to Ohio via a trade to Columbus Crew SC for an undisclosed amount of allocation money, according to a report from the Athletic.
Multiple sources have told ESPN that there have been ongoing discussions between the two teams regarding Nagbe. Spokespersons from both Atlanta and Columbus declined to comment.
The long-rumored deal will see Nagbe, 29, reunited with Crew manager Caleb Porter, who coached the United States international when the two were at University of Akron from 2008-10, with the pair helping the Zips to a NCAA title in 2010. The two also worked together in MLS with the Portland Timbers from 2013-17.
Nagbe is was born in Monrovia, Liberia, but settled in the Cleveland area when he was 11 years old. Nagbe reportedly tried to force a trade to the Crew prior to the start of the 2019 season, but a deal wasn't consummated.
It is unclear what assets Atlanta will get in return, but one source confirmed that is believed to involve a significant amount of allocation money. Prior to the 2018 season, Atlanta acquired Nagbe for $1.05 million in allocation plus another $500,000 to $600,000 if some aggressive incentives were reached.
Nagbe has been a key contributor over the course of two seasons in Atlanta, filling a role where he linked defense to attack. He helped the Five Stripes win the 2018 MLS Cup, as well as the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. Overall, Nagbe recorded two goals and seven assists in 62 league and playoff appearances. During his seven seasons with the Timbers his offensive output was greater, recording 28 goals and 32 assists in 226 league and playoff appearances. He helped the Timbers claim the 2015 MLS Cup crown.
At international level, Nagbe has appeared 25 times for the U.S., scoring once, but has reportedly turned down call-ups under current manager Gregg Berhalter.