In case you missed it during Atlanta United’s draw with CF Montreal last night, The Athletic dropped some news stating that Argentine midfielder Thiago Almada will not be joining Atlanta during the summer transfer window that shuts Thursday.
The report states that, according to multiple sources, Atlanta “will not sign” Almada this window, but adds that the club will continue its pursuit of the player and hopes to secure him under contract in the offseason.
According to the renowned Argentine-based journalist Cesar Luis Merlo, Velez had agreed to an offer sent by Atlanta United and the player spent the week preparing for a move with a physical examination and acquisition of a P1 visa.
*️⃣Thiago Almada llegará la semana próxima al país.— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) August 1, 2021
*️⃣A la espera de la visa para viajar a , la idea del Atlanta United es que, si los contratos con el jugador están ok, se haga la revisión médica en para ganar tiempo. ⏳
*️⃣Con Vélez ya hay un acuerdo por la compra del 100%.
And Almada followed Atlanta United on instagram.
Reconozco que es una pavada pero me he vuelto un apasionado de fijarme si un futbolista comenzó a seguir al club por el cual está por fichar. pic.twitter.com/Nk3gsZJS4A— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) August 1, 2021
To make matters even more intriguing, Almada posted an instagram live video that looked very much like he was in midtown Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon.
I’d recommend reading through this reddit thread for all the different ideas about the possible location of the photo. If he was in Atlanta, it doesn’t make much sense that he would travel all the way here just to... refuse a contract. If the player didn’t want to join — as has been rumored from journalists and twitter accounts — he could‘ve rejected the club off the bat.
Considering that the reporting doesn’t rule out Almada’s future in Atlanta altogether, one can’t help but wonder at the possibility of the player having come to Atlanta this week to sign a contract that will send him back out on loan to Velez through the remainder of the calendar year before joining the team to start next season.
Gabriel Heinze, Almada’s former manager at Velez Sarsfield, was thought to be an important figure in luring the highly-touted playmaker to MLS. Which made it all the more surprising that Merlo reported Velez had accepted Atlanta’s bid for the player shortly after the team’s home loss to the Columbus Crew on July 24.
We’ll continue updating this post today if and when we get clarification on the situation.