Nashville signs Ake Loba from Liga MX's Monterrey

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C.J. Sapong haunts the Union with early goal for Nashville (0:33)

Former Philadelphia Union striker C.J. Sapong scores inside two minutes to lead Nashville SC past his old side 1-0. (0:33)

Nashville SC has acquired forward Ake Loba from Liga MX side Monterrey, with sources confirming to ESPN that the Major League Soccer side has paid a club record transfer fee of $6.8 million.

While the club didn't officially disclose the transfer fee, Nashville stated it had traded $230,000 in General Allocation Money with the Portland Timbers for an international roster spot.

Loba joins Nashville through the 2023 campaign with an option to be extended through 2024 as a Designated Player, and will be available for selection upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P1 Visa.

"Aké is an exciting attacking prospect that offers the qualities that our team looks for in a striker, he is a constant goal threat and has the ability to create and finish in a number of different ways," said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs. "We are excited to be able to add him to this group, and about what he represents for our club."

MLSSoccer.com was the first to report Loba's transfer fee. The deal contains a sell-on clause for Monterrey should Nashville later transfer the Ivory Coast native.

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Loba, 23, scored seven goals in 23 league and cup appearances for Los Rayados after arriving in 2020 for a fee of $9 million. Included in his list of tallies was a goal in the CONCACAF Champions League against the Columbus Crew last April.

He began his professional career in his home country before moving to Peruvian side Universidad San Martín in 2018. A year later he was loaned to Liga MX side Queretaro where he scored 11 goals in 41 league and cup appearances.

Loba joins a Nashville side that is off to a good start this season, sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 18 points from 11 matches. But while NSC averages 11.5 chances created per game, tied for third best in the league, its 1.3 goals per game is only good for 12th in the 27-team MLS, highlighting how finishing has been an issue for Nashville. That is the area where Loba is expected to help Nashville improve.

With Loba's imminent arrival, Nashville will now have three DPs on the roster alongside Jhonder Cadiz and Hany Mukhtar.