Edinson Cavani is finally a Boca Juniors player. The 36-year-old Uruguayan striker had long been the dream of many a Boca fan, but the deal is now official. The club announced the arrival of the Uruguay international on Saturday. He signed until December 2024 on a free deal and is set to don the iconic number 10 shirt, worn by the likes of Juan Román Riquelme and Diego Maradona among others.
The move was a long time in the making. It started with an admittance by Cavani. “I want to celebrate climbing the wiring of La Bombonera like Manteca Martínez,” the Uruguayan has famously said.
He was referencing the iconic celebration by his compatriot striker Sergio Martínez (affectionally known as Manteca, butter) on October 11, 1992, when he scored the winner in the Superclásico against River in the Apertura Tournament. Cavani was only five years old at the time, but the image stuck with him.
Moves were attempted in 2021 and 2022, but with the Qatar 2022 World Cup — probably his last with the Uruguay National Team — on the horizon, Cavani chose to remain in Europe, signing with Spanish club Valencia. However, he’s said to have regretted the decision and been eager to return to South American football.
Cavani is far from the sole move by Boca Juniors this transfer window. Striker Lucas Janson (28) from Velez Sarsfield and defender Lucas Blondel (26) from Tigre made their moves to Boca for US$3 million and US$1,8 million respectively. In terms of departures, Venezuelan striker Jan Hurtado (23) was loaned to Liga de Quito in Ecuador while Paraguayan midfielder Oscar Romero (31) agreed to cut his contract short. Striker Luis Vázquez (22) was sold to Belgian club Anderlecht for US$7 million.
Racing also on the move
Boca aren’t the only Argentine club making moves: Racing Club are also making waves. The Avellaneda club are looking to improve their form in the second half of the year and hoping for a strong showing in the Copa Libertadores, and they’ve been active in the market.
Colombian striker Roger Martínez (29) is joining them on a free deal, as is former Boca Juniors youngster Agustín Almendra (22). The club, affectionately known as La Academia, is wrapping up a move for defender Gastón Martirena, from Uruguayan side Liverpool, for US$3 million. However, they’re also losing defender Tomás Avilés to Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami for a reported US$7 million.
Their biggest move in the transfer window is set to be the signing of Colombian playmaker Juan Fernando Quintero. After a short stint with Colombian side Junior de Barranquilla, the 30-year-old midfielder looks poised for a return to Argentina. Quintero is perhaps best known for the role he played in River Plate’s triumph at the 2018 Copa Libertadores, where he scored a key goal in extra time.
Moves to MLS
Facundo Farías, one of the most promising young players in the country, is sealing his move to Inter Miami from Colon for a reported US$5 million. He’s far from the only youngster making a move, with Vélez Sarsfield’s 19-year-old Julián Fernández moving to MLS side New York City for a reported US$6 million and Rosario Central starlet Gino Infantino is taking his talents to Italian side Fiorentina for US$3 million.
Argentine sides are also reinforcing their squads. United States-born Joel Soñora (26) is joining Huracán on a free deal from Mexican side FC Juárez, while former River Plate and Vélez Sarsfield striker Lucas Pratto (34) became a Defensa y Justicia player. Chilean playmaker Matías Marín is a new Belgrano player, joining from O’Higgins in exchange for just under US$700,000.