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Atlanta United Rumors: How to spot a bogus transfer rumor

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This rumor even got me.

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As Atlanta United president, Darren Eales, said in his interview with the Mouths of the South Podcast, you're going to hear tons of players being linked with Atlanta that seemingly come out of left field.

Scouring "Atlanta United" twitter today led me to discover this tweet:

I got really excited and then started sharing with my fellow DSS writers. Further research made it pretty clear this post was nothing more than a really bad rumor. We figured it'd be a good opportunity to break down what makes a really BS rumor.

1. Money offered

The tweet says that Atlanta United has offered Bruno Soriano, a 32-year-old central midfielder currently playing for Villarreal in Spain, 16 million euros to play in MLS. For a guy who has absolutely zero name recognition and is already 32 years old, this kind of a transfer fee would be absolutely ludicrous. Michael Bradley's transfer fee from Roma was reportedly $10 million and is the highest for any player coming to MLS. This transfer fee would break the MLS record for a player very little MLS fans, or even soccer fans, recognize.

2. Current contract and playing time

Further research led us to the actual article the tweet stemmed from. The post mentions that Soriano's contract runs until 2020, meaning he still has four years left with Villarreal and has literally be playing for the club his entire life. It would be really strange to see a club part ways with a lifer who still has four years left to play with the club and is still a key contributor. Soriano made 45 appearances over all competitions, scoring seven goals and assisting on two.

3. Read the added details to a post

According to his post, Hector Andreu knows that after Zlatan Ibrahimovic finishes his contract with Manchester United he plans to join Atlanta United. That should be a red flag in regards to credibility simply because, reasonable journalists and bloggers don't try to predict the future beyond a few months.

4. The source itself

The source revealing the information is just as important as the information itself. In this case, Fichajes.net seems to be the only source reporting the information, which is usually a bad sign. The only time news is seen as credible coming from a single source is when outlets such as ESPN or FOX Sports reports the information (see Andres Guardado posts). If this information were credible, multiple media outlets would have similar reports.

To conclude, the report stating Atlanta United has offered of 16 million euros is probably one created by the player's agent. It's strange to see such a rumor being reported given the length of his contract and the money being offered, but rumors like these are all too uncommon in the grand scheme of world soccer. Atlanta United should not be offering a 32-year-old player with absolutely zero name recognition in the USA 16 million euros.

It is much more likely that Vice President of Business Operations, Ann Rodriguez, was trying to recruit Iceland's TV announcer for Atlanta United matches than the Soriano rumor.