The long-awaited move for Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron to the Premier League appears to be occurring.
According to a Tuesday afternoon report from Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Almiron will sign with Newcastle for what is rumored to be the largest transfer fee in the 23-year history of Major League Soccer.
John Percy, a soccer reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, tweeted Tuesday that the deal will be worth $27 million.
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If that’s confirmed, it would dwarf the $14 million sale of Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich of the German Bundesliga last July, according to Mike Conti, the Voice of Atlanta United. It should be noted, however, that after add-ons and bonuses were added to the deal, the Davies sale eventually totaled $22 million.
Almiron was a beloved member of the Five Stripes in the club’s first two seasons, and his hard-attacking style led to 21 goals and 28 assists in two years. The two-time MLS All-Star will be a key addition to a Newcastle side that desperately needs reinforcements to avoid being relegated in the Premier League; they’re just two points above the drop zone as of Tuesday.
The move was considered imminent once Atlanta United introduced midfielder Pity Martinez Friday morning as the latest signing. The 2018 South American Footballer of the Year added incredible firepower to an already souped-up group of strikers, but it also left the Five Stripes with one too many Designated Players – players whose salary and signing fee exceed the league maximum, of which each MLS team can only have three.
Martinez was the fourth Designated Player on the roster, so Atlanta United needed to move one prior to the March 1 deadline. Almiron’s European aspirations meant the Five Stripes could sign Josef Martinez to a five-year extension and bring in Pity Martinez with no fear of exceeding the number of allotted Designated Players, and Tuesday’s news confirms that.
Almiron flew to Newcastle for a physical Tuesday, AJC.com also reported.Follow @Sean_Breslin