Atletico Madrid interested in Atlanta United star Thiago Almada – report

La Liga giants Atletico Madrid have reportedly registered an interest in signing Atlanta United’s star midfielder Thiago Almada.

Almada is coming off a 2023 campaign where he notched 11 goals and 19 assists (most in MLS) in 31 regular season appearances for the Five Stripes. His brilliant performances propelled Atlanta up the Eastern Conference table to a sixth place finish to return to the postseason after missing out in 2022.

In his two seasons in MLS, Almada has amassed 48 goal contributions in 60 appearances while also proving that he was, at the time, arguably the best free-kick taker in the league – before Lionel Messi rocked up to south Florida to sign for Inter Miami.

You can say what you want about the questionable goalkeeping in MLS from time to time, but there’s no denying that this wonder-strike from the 2022 World Cup winner has caught the eyes of European sides, as Diego Simeone has clearly taken an interest in his fellow Argentine.

Fabrizio Romano claims that Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad are interested in fellow Atleti striker Angel Correa, who’s also an Argentina international like Almada, and that Los Colchoneros would look to bring in Almada should the veteran forward depart the club this winter.

Correa has been a staple in Simeone’s side since joining in January 2015, registering 74 goals and 58 assists in 397 games for Atleti and it would be an interesting replacement given that the 28-year-old plays as a striker while Almada plays as a No. 10.

However, like Correa, Almada is guaranteed to bring goals and assists once he’s fully settled – he’s shown that and much more with Atlanta in such a short amount of time. Almada won’t come cheap though, as Atlanta will only consider selling the young star if offers in excess of $30m arrive on president and chief soccer officer Garth Lagerway’s desk.

Almada, who scored three times from a direct free kick in 2023, joined Atlanta ahead of the 2022 MLS season from Argentinian side Velez Sarsfield for a reported transfer fee of $16m (most expensive inbound transfer in MLS history).

The 22-year-old garnered interested from Ajax near the end of the summer transfer window and has four caps four the Argentina national team, scoring once. Last month, Almada expressed his desire to leave Atlanta for Europe despite being under contract through the 2025 season.

Should Correa head to Saudi Arabia, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities for Atletico to receive a hefty fee for the forward that would allow them to pry Almada away from Atlanta, who have no real interest in selling the midfielder, of course.

READ THE LATEST MLS NEWS, QUOTES & TRANSFER RUMOURS HERE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.