We all knew it was coming, but surprisingly the first real Thiago Almada transfer rumor of the season has taken all the way to mid-August to emerge. According to esteemed South American transfer sleuth Cesar Luis Merlo, La Liga side UD Almería want to sign Atlanta United’s prized World Cup-winning midfielder.
Almería averiguó condiciones por Thiago Almada, futbolista de la selección argentina y del Atlanta United.— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) August 12, 2023
*️⃣El club español buscará avanzar en los próximos días y realizar una oferta formal para intentar ficharlo. pic.twitter.com/a8ceb9uqHP
Merlo says that the Spanish side have contacted Atlanta about the details of a possible transfer and will submit an official bid in the coming days.
Gastón Edul of TyC Sports followed up the report saying that Almeria have already submitted an initial bid of €10 million for 50 percent of Almada’s rights that was rejected.
Almería ofertó por Thiago Almada. Atlanta rechazó una oferta de 10 millones de euros + objetivos por el 50 % del pase.— Gastón Edul (@gastonedul) August 12, 2023
Siguen negociando. Almería va a mejorar la oferta. pic.twitter.com/aN4uCa4OYO
While that reported fee seems very low compared to the club’s suspected valuation of Almada, it would allow for Atlanta to make a sizable profit should a future transfer occur.
While all of this is great, it doesn’t really pass the smell test. Almada is probably the most valuable transfer asset Major League Soccer possesses and it doesn’t make much sense for them or Atlanta United to structure a deal in this fashion. Unless Thiago is desperately pushing for a transfer away from the club or Almeria significantly improve their offer it’s hard to see anything materializing from this.
What’s important to remember is that players can still leave MLS despite their transfer window being shut. Windows only pertain to incoming transfers, so Almada — or anyone else — could still leave while the various transfer periods around the world are open. So, buckle up for what could be an interesting few weeks.
What do you think of this rumor? Would it make sense to sell Almada now? What do you see being the final fee paid if a deal does get done? Have your say below.