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Velez Sarsfield agree to sale of Thiago Almada to Atlanta United for MLS record $16 million

Velez is willing to move Thiago Almada to Atlanta United, but is Atlanta ready to confirm the deal?

Velez Sarsfield v Argentinos Juniors - Torneo Liga Profesional 2021 Photo by Rodrigo Valle/Getty Images

Update: To everyone’s surprise, Atlanta United went on record tonight clarifying that the club has not agreed to acquire Thiago Almada yet. Here’s their statement:

So, Velez is ready to accept Atlanta United’s terms of the deal and seem eager to push it across the line, but Atlanta United wants to wait. It’s worth noting that Almada would arrive as a Designated Player, which as of this writing would push Atlanta over the allowed threshold in MLS. That factor could influence negotiations for Ezequiel Barco, so holding off for now makes sense. Or, if reported interest never materializes into an acceptable bid, the team could retain Barco. Dirty South Soccer understands the team holds the terms of the current deal in hand until early 2022, and can execute the transaction at a time of its choosing.

Thiago Almada’s departure from Velez Sarsfield looks to be all but a done deal.

The Argentian club on Friday afternoon announced it had agreed to terms of the transfer of the 20-year-old to Atlanta United for US $16 million, an MLS record. That’s higher than the reported $15.95 million it paid for Pity Martinez. Almada will join Atlanta in February 2022.

Atlanta will hope that this most recent big-spending move pays off and can provide a jolt to its attack in 2022 in Gonzalo Pineda’s first full season as manager. While Luiz Araujo showed immense promise in the early stages of his MLS career, the aforementioned Pity Martinez transfer didn’t pan out and ended with him in Saudi Arabia. This also means that Atlanta will obviously need to open a DP slot, all but assuredly equaling a winter move for Ezequiel Barco.

Almada joined Velez’s youth setup in 2006 and signed to their first team in 2018. He has scored 17 goals through 71 appearances.