Atlanta United may be about to budge on their price for Almiron
Photo Credit:(Gettyimages/Tim Clayton - Corbis)

Atlanta United may be about to budge on their price for Almiron

Newcastle United will be hopeful that the MLS Cup winners are slowly lowering their asking price for Benitez's number one target

aaron-hindhaugh
Aaron Hindhaugh

Miguel Almiron seems likely to leave the MLS, but whether it be in January or the summer remains to be seen.

Atlanta United have so far refused to budge on their £22 million valuation of one of their designated players.

However, the MLS champions are in a situation where they may be forced to sell while Newcastle United are interested.

Forcing Atlanta's hand

MLS rules state that a team can not have more than three designated players registered in their squad and Atlanta currently have four.

They have Josef Martinez who has just signed a new contract and Pity Martinez has just joined from River Plate, which means they are not likely to depart the club this month.

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The third player is Ezequiel Barco who is only 19-years old so he may be loaned out but they then risk having a player of Almiron's quality not performing at his best if he wants a move away.

Newcastle to get a cut-price deal 

This is all good news for the Magpies as they may see Atlanta become more willing to negotiate a deal for Almiron as the window begins to wind down.

Sam Stejskal spoke to MLS.com about the situation Atlanta find themselves in: "The Five Stripes are willing to sell Almiron, but only for the right price."

"Eales has repeatedly indicated that he’s looking for a transfer fee north of $30 million for the soon-to-be 25-year-old. That’d be a record fee for an MLS player."

"Unfortunately for Eales and Atlanta, it doesn’t sound like there’s much of a market for it at the moment."

"Multiple sources have told MLSsoccer.com in the last two weeks that European teams aren’t coming close to Atlanta’s desired $30 million fee."

A staggered deal more likely

It is appearing more and more likely that Atlanta will have to settle for around about £18 million with the rest in add-ons depending on Almiron's performances.

This is because no clubs are interested in paying that much for a player that has never played in a European league before.

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Stejskal added: "They said it’s more likely that a club would buy Almiron for a guaranteed fee around $20 million with performance incentives that could take the price higher, potentially into the $30 million range."

"The sources said that type of structure would increase the odds of an Almiron sale before the European transfer window closes at the end of January."

"Whether Atlanta is willing to accept that kind of deal is another matter."

It is likely Atlanta will want to get as much money upfront and the Magpies will want to pay as little money upfront as is the way Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley like to do business.

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