Columbus Crew signing Cucho Hernandez from Watford in club-record deal

The Columbus Crew have reached an agreement for the transfer of Colombia forward Cucho Hernandez from Watford, a source told ESPN.

Columbus will pay a club-record fee of just more than $10 million, the source said, confirming multiple reports. Hernandez, 23, will initially occupy a Young Designated Player slot for the Crew and be under contract through the 2025 season.

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In 25 Premier League appearances during his lone season in England, Hernandez scored five goals and registered two assists. Watford was relegated to the English Championship after finishing in 19th place last season.

Prior to his time at Watford, Hernandez played three seasons on loan in Spain’s LaLiga: one with Huesca after helping the club earn promotion, then a season with each Mallorca (2019-20) and Getafe (2020-21). He scored 11 goals over those three seasons after a 17-goal campaign in Spain’s second division.

Hernandez has two appearances with the Colombian national team, including the most recent in a friendly against Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

He is expected to be available to play for Columbus, which traded U.S. international Gyasi Zardes to the Colorado Rapids earlier this season, after the MLS transfer window opens July 7.

The Crew (4-5-4, 16 points) are in 11th place in MLS’ Eastern Conference and have exceeded two goals scored just three times in 2022 and only once since March 12.