Despite not being officially announced as the new manager of Atlanta United yet, we’re already learning about Gabriel Heinze’s possible transfer wishlist.
According to The Athletic’s Felipe Cardenas, the Argentine has his sights set on at least one young talent from his country of birth as a reinforcement to strengthen the Five Stripes. (Side note: Please consider checking out Felipe’s work on a regular basis, he does an incredible job covering the team.)
The report states that Heinze would like for Atlanta to acquire Boca Juniors midfielder Agustin Almendra as a welcoming gift, if possible.
Sources told The Athletic that Boca Juniors central midfielder Agustín Almendra could join Heinze in Atlanta. Almendra, 20, was once linked with Inter Miami and has since fallen out with the current staff at the Argentine club.
Even if Almendra’s standing within Boca Juniors has been damaged recently, the 20-year-old’s transfer value is still extremely high. Transfermarkt.com’s latest valuation of the central midfielder is listed at around $12 million.
Atlanta United’s three Designated Player slots are currently filled, but there could be some ways of opening up room for a signing of Almendra’s caliber. One option would be to buy down Marcelino Moreno’s contract to remove his DP status. The other would be to utilize a possible new young player mechanism that MLS is said to be introducing in 2021, that allows for teams to spend heavily on players under 22 years of age.
It’s no secret that a defensive midfielder is high on the list of needs for Atlanta United. Heinze’s style of play requires a ton of work from that position as well. So it makes all kinds of sense to try and acquire someone who he desires to make sure this project has a successful launch.
What do you make of this rumor? Does Agustin Almendra make sense for Atlanta United? Comment below.