Atlanta United

Atlanta United primed to sign Thiago Almada from Velez

Chris Smith
Almada has scored 24 goals in 94 appearances for Velez to date.
Almada has scored 24 goals in 94 appearances for Velez to date. / Pool/GettyImages

Atlanta United are set to sign exciting Argentine talent Thiago Almada from Velez this winter, according to reports.

The Five Stripes have been pursuing the 20-year-old for some time and although they didn't manage to get a deal over the line in the summer window, that was seen as more of a delay than a failure.

Almada himself recently confirmed that "everything is still on track" with his Atlanta United move, even if Europe remained his preferred destination.

Now, according to Buenos Aires-based journalist Cesar Luis Merlo, Almada has agreed on a contract that will run until December 2026, with Atlanta United buying 100% of the players' rights.

Capped 10 times at U-20 and U-23 level combined, Almada was recently called up to the senior Argentina national team for the first time for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil.

At his best playing at the point of midfield behind the striker, Almada is at his best connecting play and splitting open defenses with his precision passing, and leading counter-attacks with his direct, dynamic dribbling.

After experiencing an upturn in form following this summer's Olympic Games, there's every chance Ezequiel Barco will finally seal a move away from Mercedes-Benz Stadium this winter. The former Independiente forward has blown hot and cold for the Five Stripes but has arguably been their best player of the Gonzalo Pineda era so far - Barco has been linked with the likes of Napoli and Arsenal in the past.

Atlanta would likely need to open up a DP spot to facilitate Almada's transfer, with Barco the most obvious candidate to leave ahead of club legend Josef Martinez and new arrival Luiz Araujo.