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Chicago Fire sign Gaitan on free following release from Dalian Yifang

Major League Soccer: C.J. Sapong (90'+5) Chicago Fire 1-1 Orlando City
Major League Soccer: Dom Dwyer (47') Chicago Fire 0-1 Orlando City

The Chicago Fire confirmed the signing of former Benfica and Atletico Madrid playmaker Nicolas Gaitan on a free transfer on Thursday, after the Argentine was released by Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.

The Major League Soccer side said the 31-year-old had been acquired with Discretionary Targeted Allocation Money (DTAM) and Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).

"We have wanted to add another attacking piece and believe Nico's dynamism and play-making ability could be a perfect fit," club president and Nelson Rodriguez said.

Head coach Veljko Paunovic added: "Nicolas is a player that can destabilize any defense in this league. He has an enormous amount of talent and is still in his prime. We're eager to get the most out of his attacking creativity."

Gaitan started his career in his native Argentina with Boca Juniors before joining Benfica in 2010 after fellow countryman Angel Di Maria had left for Real Madrid.

He won three Primeira Liga titles with the Eagles and helped them reach back-to-back Europa League finals in 2013 and 2014 before signing for Atletico Madrid in 2016.

Gaitan, who spent 12 months in China, has 16 Argentina caps and was part of the squad which reached the final of the Copa America Centenario in 2016.

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