Austin FC signs Ghanaian winger Osman Bukari as designated player for $7.5 million

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC has its new designated player.

Osman Bukari, a 25-year-old Ghanaian national who last played for Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade, signed with Verde and Black and is under contract through the end of the 2027 season. He has a team option for 2028. The team announced the deal Thursday.

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The deal is pending Bukari’s ITC and P-1 visa. The Athletic’s Tom Bogert reported that Austin FC paid a transfer fee of roughly $7.5 million. That’s similar to the transfer fee of captain Sebastian Driussi in 2021.

Bukari comes to Austin FC after the buyout and release of Emiliano Rigoni. Bukari will fill the third designated player role for Austin FC and will bolster the midfielder as a right winger. He’ll be eligible to play for Austin FC on July 18 when the Major League Soccer secondary transfer window opens.

He has scored goals on big international stages such as the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League. He was part of Ghana’s 2022 World Cup squad and scored against Portugal and has 17 caps for the senior team with three goals and two assists.

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For Red Star Belgrade, Bukari scored twice and had two assists in UEFA Champions League play against Manchester City and Swiss side BSC Young Boys. Speed is a big part of Bukari’s game and he was clocked at the Champions League as the 10th-fastest player during the group stage.

“Osman is a fast and technical winger with a proven ability to get goals and assists competing at some of the highest levels of club football,” Austin FC sporting director Rodolfo Borrell said. “We’re confident he will make an immediate impact for us on the pitch when he arrives and we’re delighted to have him sign for Austin FC.”

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