All eyes around the Atlanta United rumor mill have been focused on Argentine star prospect Thiago Almada from Velez. Reports from around the globe say that transfer is close to completion ahead of Thursday’s MLS transfer deadline. However, there have been several new rumors that suggest the Five Stripes aren’t ready to stop with just one impact attacking addition.
At least three credible links have popped up since Saturday suggesting Atlanta are attempting to make another high-priced signing. First there were several reports saying the club made a bid in the region of $10 million for Cagliari’s Joao Pedro, which was turned down by the Serie A club.
Then there were some rumblings about a bid around the same figure for Portuguese striker Ricardo Horta from SC Braga that was also turned down.
The latest rumor emerged early Tuesday putting Atlanta in the mix for Napoli winger Adam Ounas, a 24-year-old Algerian international whose contract expires in 2022. Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport reported in their print edition that the Five Stripes have made a bid of around $17 million for the winger and while Napoli could be tempted to sell, the player was hesitant on the move.
(h/t to @Napoli_Report on Twitter for the screenshot)
Ounas is requested by Monza and Atlanta United: the proposals are of a good level, especially that of almost 15 million Americans, but there the player hesitates. And Spalletti would not mind at all, on the contrary: he could become one more man, yes, but he has a contract expiring in 2022.
While it’s natural for Atlanta United to be thrown into the mix with all these rumors just because they have the funds and agents can use their name to help negotiations, it seems rather coincidental they’d be linked to three separate players within a span of four days. Usually when there’s that much smoke, something is burning.
It remains to be seen exactly how Atlanta could fit two high-priced players on its roster currently. However, it should be noted that MLS clubs can sell players up until the transfer deadlines of the countries the player would be destined for. So, just because they can only sign incoming players under contract up until Thursday, doesn’t mean they can’t alter their roster to make accommodations well after it.
What do you make of all this noise? Will Atlanta United pull a rabbit out of a hat and add two impact attackers before the week is over? Or is all this just nonsense? Comment down below.