Thiago Almada joins Atlanta United – MLS record signing arrives from Vélez Sarsfield

FPL360
By FPL360

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Official announcement 

The new Major League Soccer record transfer is now fully confirmed. Thiago Almada will join Atlanta United and sign a contract until 2025. Vélez Sarsfield, who confirmed the deal on Dec. 3, will receive $16 million for 100% of the player’s economic rights. That fee will break the record for the most expensive signing in MLS history set by Atlanta United when they signed Pity Martínez from River Plate in 2019 for $15.95 million (overview). 

“After an extensive and in-depth due diligence process, we have exercised our exclusive option to permanently transfer in Thiago,” Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a club statement. “He’s a player we’ve been tracking for a long time and he’s shown that he’s one of the best young players in South America over the past few seasons. We feel that his abilities fit well with the kind of attacking soccer that we want to play at Atlanta United and we’re confident that he will be able to play at a high level in Major League Soccer.”

Signing Almada came with significant obstacles. Atlanta United had a pre-agreement with Vélez in place since December but lacked the salary cap space to sign the attacking midfielder. The club has since moved Esequiel Barco on loan to River Plate, a transfer that opened up a necessary Designated Player (DP) spot in Atlanta’s squad. Furthermore, Almada also faced legal problems in his native Argentina that have since been resolved, finally clearing the transfer of the playmaker to MLS.  

Pity Martínez, Barco, Almirón & Co.: Atlanta United’s record transfer

Eric Remedi | Signed from CA Banfield in 2018 | Fee: $1.93m

&copy Atlanta United FC

Leandro González Pírez | Signed from Estudiantes in 2017 | Fee: $2m

&copy Inter Miami CF

Héctor Villalba | Signed from San Lorenzo in 2016 | Fee: $2.75m

&copy Atlanta United FC

Alan Franco | Signed from Independiente in 2021 | Fee: $2.8m

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Franco Ibarra | Signed from Argentinos Juniors in 2021 | Fee: $3m

&copy Atlanta United

Erik López | Signed from Olimpia in 2020 | Fee: $3.7m

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Josef Martínez | Signed from Torino in 2017 | Fee: $4.95m

&copy Atlanta United FC

Santiago Sosa | Signed from River Plate in 2021 | Fee: $5.45m

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Marcelino Moreno | Signed from Lanús in 2020 | Fee: $7m

&copy Atlanta United

Miguel Almirón | Signed from Lanús in 2017 | Fee: $8.25m

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Luiz Araújo | Signed from Lille in 2021 | Fee: $12m

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Ezequiel Barco | Signed from Independiente in 2018 | Fee: $13.5m

&copy Katie Gillen/Atlanta United

Pity Martínez | Signed from River Plate in 2019 | Fee: $15.95m

&copy Atlanta United FC

Thiago Almada | Signed from Velez Sarsfield in 2022 | Fee: $16m

&copy fotobaires.com

Thiago Almada to Atlanta United – 20-year-old now most valuable MLS player

In Almada, Atlanta United now possess the most valuable player in MLS. The 20-year-old attacking midfielder has a market value of $22 million, which ranks him significantly above his new teammate Josef Martínez, who with a market value of $13.75 million was the most valuable player in the league (overview). 

Martínez, Velasco, Reynoso & Co. – The 25 most valuable MLS players

Gustavo Bou | New England Revolution | Market value: $6.6m

&copy Matt Stith/MLS

Karol Swiderski | Charlotte FC | Market value: $6.6m

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Cristian Arango | LAFC | Market value: $6.6m

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Santiago Sosa | Atlanta United | Market value: $6.6m

&copy Concacaf

Facundo Torres | Orlando City | Market value: $6.6m

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Efraín Álvarez | Los Angeles Galaxy | Market value: $6.6m

&copy imago images

Hany Mukhtar | Nashville SC | Market value: $7.15m

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Ryan Gauld | Vancouver Whitecaps | Market value: $7.15m

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José Cifuentes | Los Angeles FC | Market value: $7.15m

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Carles Gil | New England Revolution | Market value: $7.7m

&copy Matthew Stith/MLS

Sebastián Driussi | Austin FC | Market value: $7.7m

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Adam Buksa | New England Revolution | Market value: $7.7m

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Valentín Castellanos | New York City FC | Market value: $7.7m

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Brenner | FC Cincinnati | Market value: $7.7m

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Talles Magno | New York City FC | Market value: $7.7m

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Dániel Sallói | Sporting Kansas City | Market value: $8.25m

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Raúl Ruidíaz | Seattle Sounders | Market value; $8.8m

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Alan Pulido | Sporting Kansas City | Market value: $8.8m

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Alejandro Pozuelo | Toronto FC | Market value: $8.8m

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Lucas Zelarayán | Columbus Crew | Market value: $8.8m

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Marcelino Moreno | Atlanta United | Market value: $8.8m

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Luiz Araujo | Atlanta United | Market value: $11m

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Emmanuel Reynoso | Minnesota United | Market value: $11m

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Alan Velasco | FC Dallas | Market value: $13.2m

&copy fotobaires.com

Josef Martínez | Atlanta United | Market value: $13.75m

&copy imago images

Thiago Almada | Atlanta United | Market value: $22m

&copy fotobaires.com


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