Atlanta United on verge of completing $30 million Thiago Almada transfer

Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada #10 dribbles the ball during the match against the Toronto FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA on Saturday June 29, 2024. (Photo by Kathryn Skeean/Atlanta United)

Credit: Kathryn Skeean/Atlanta United

Credit: Kathryn Skeean/Atlanta United

Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada #10 dribbles the ball during the match against the Toronto FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA on Saturday June 29, 2024. (Photo by Kathryn Skeean/Atlanta United)

Atlanta United is close to completing the sale of Thiago Almada to Eagle Football for a price that could reach $30 million, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. That total would be a record for an MLS player.

The deal has yet to been finalized. The transfer is contingent on Almada successfully passing a medical, which is expected to be performed today.

If successful:

  • Atlanta United will receive an MLS-record $21 million up front.
  • Conditional payments may increase the total value to $25 million.
  • Total potential value of the transfer is an MLS-record $30 million.

Almada said after Saturday’s 2-1 win against Toronto in which he scored that it could be his last home match with the team.

Eagle owns Botafogo in Brazil, Lyon in France and Crystal Palace in England. Almada would first go to Botafogo.

Atlanta United purchased Almada for a reported fee of $16 million from Velez Sarsfield in Argentina before the 2022 season. Small in stature, quiet in demeanor, Almada’s right foot did his speaking most of the time, especially when taking free kicks. He scored several goals from as far as 25 yards.

Almada finished as a finalist for MLS MVP in 2023 after scoring 11 goals and 19 assists. He leads the team with six goals this season and has 23 goals and 33 assists in 77 regular-season appearances in his career with the club.

With the sale near completion, combined with the sale of Giorgos Giakoumakis for $10 million to Cruz Azul, Atlanta United has a war chest from which it can try to quickly rebuild in its quest to win a trophy this season. The MLS summer transfer window will open July 18.

Atlanta United is in ninth in the East and has two games scheduled next week at New England and at Real Salt Lake. It is in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup with the next match scheduled for July 9. Leagues Cup is scheduled to start on July 26.

Almada will be the fourth player sold by the club for at least $10 million. Miguel Almiron was sold to Newcastle before the 2019 season for a reported $27 million. Pity Martinez was sold by the club to one in Saudi Arabia during the 2020 season for a reported $18 million.

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Atlanta United’s 2024 schedule

Feb. 24 Columbus 1, Atlanta United 0

March 9 Atlanta United 4, New England 1

March 17 Atlanta United 2, Orlando 0

March 23 Toronto 2, Atlanta United 0

March 31 Atlanta United 3, Chicago 0

April 6 Atlanta United 1, NYCFC 1

April 14 Atlanta United 2, Philadelphia 2

April 20 Cincinnati 2, Atlanta United 1

April 27 Atlanta United 1, Chicago 1

May 4 Minnesota 2, Atlanta United 1

May 7 Atlanta United 3, Charlotte Independence 0 in U.S. Open Cup

May 11 D.C. United 3, Atlanta United 2

May 15 Cincinnati 1, Atlanta United 0

May 18 Atlanta United 1, Nashville 1

May 21 Atlanta United 0 (5), Charleston 0 (4) in U.S. Open Cup

May 25 LAFC 1, Atlanta United 0

May 29 Atlanta United 3, Miami 1

June 2 Charlotte 3, Atlanta United 2

June 15 Atlanta United 2, Houston 2

June 19 Atlanta United 1, D.C. United 0

June 22 Atlanta United 1, St. Louis 1

June 29 Atlanta United 2, Toronto 1

July 3 at New England, 7:30 p.m.

July 6 at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.

July 9 vs. Indy Eleven in U.S. Open Cup

July 13 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

July 17 vs. NYCFC, 7:30 p.m.

July 20 vs. Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

July 26 vs. D.C. United in Leagues Cup, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 4 vs. Santos Laguna in Leagues Cup, 4 p.m.

Aug. 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.

Aug. 31 at Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 14 vs. Nashville, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18 vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 at Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 2 vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 vs. Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Orlando, 6 p.m.