Newcastle have made Miguel Almiron their top target this January and are travelling to Atlanta for talks, according to reports late on Wednesday night.
The playmaker has two games at the most left in his MLS campaign and by 8 December at the very latest, his season will be over.
Set to turn 25 in February, the Paraguayan international’s agent has previously stated that he expects Miguel Almiron move to a Premier League very soon, and his presence at Newcastle’s home win over Bournemouth two weeks ago raised expectations that this time NUFC might actually be serious about trying to sign this one.
In the regular Eastern Conference League season, Atlanta United finished runners up to New York Red Bulls. The league season ending on 11 November with a 3-1 win for Atlanta over New York City, Miguel Almiron getting one of the goals.
The league season is then followed by the MLS Cup which sees six of the top clubs from each (Western and Eastern) conference play in a cup knockout process, with finally one from each Conference meeting in the MLS Cup final.
On Sunday, Miguel Almiron helped Atlanta United to beat New York Red Bulls 3-0 in front of 70,016 at home, with them now hot favourites to reach the final when they meet for the second leg of the semi final tomorrow (Friday).
If they go through, Almiron and Atlanta will face either Steven Taylor’s old club Portland Timbers, or Sporting Kansas City, who drew 0-0 in the first leg of the Western Conference side of the draw.
It was The Mail who first reported last night on Newcastle now stepping up their efforts to sign Miguel Almiron, with The Chronicle closely following.
I think that there may well be legs in this particular transfer story and if Newcastle aren’t really trying to sign the player, then certainly somebody is doing the best to convince the newspapers and the fans that they are.
Both newspapers report (see below) that Newcastle are sending representatives to Atlanta for talks, with the Chronicle naming NUFC’s Head of recruitment Steve Nickson as the one leading up the Newcastle representatives. There have been widespread reports saying Newcastle have been to watch the playmaker a number of times and indeed the Chronicle claim it is nine times so far that NUFC have sent people to watch him.
The Mail reference a £25m price tag and whilst that amount has been used in reports over in the States, my guess would be that any initial buying price would be lower than that, but still almost certainly taking us beyond the 2005 club record of £16.8m for Michael Owen, with no doubt further money to be paid if Miguel Almiron hits various targets.
The player’s wages are reported as currently being £1.6m (just over £30,000 per week), so even with Mike Ashley’s rigid stance on wages, Newcastle shouldn’t have any problem satisfying expectations in that department.
Since moving to Atlanta for the 2017 season, Almiron has started 63 games (2 off the bench) and has scored 22 goals with 21 assists, involved in 43 goals altogether.
This season alone he has 13 goals and 11 assists so far.
The Mail report:
Newcastle up the ante in chase for £25m-rated MLS star Miguel Almiron but face competition from Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham
Newcastle United have stepped up their efforts to sign Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron.
Talks are taking place in USA this week over a potential deal for the Paraguay international playmaker who starred for his side in their 3-0 MLS Cup win over New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
The 24-year-old is valued at £25million by the MLS, which will hinder negotiations, but Newcastle know they must move quickly amid competition from the likes of West Ham.
Arsenal and Tottenham have also followed his progress this year.
Sportsmail reported Newcastle’s interest earlier this month and Rafa Benitez believes Almiron can adapt quickly to the Premier League stage.
The Chronicle report:
Newcastle United are set to take the game to their Premier League rivals in the chase for Miguel Almiron.
The Chronicle understands that United will send out head of recruitment Steve Nickson to the United States in the next week to hold discussion with Atlanta United and the attacking star’s agent about what it will take to lure him to St James’ Park in January.
Almiron plays an attacking midfielder or number 10 but can also play out wide on either flank.
Almiron’s representatives have already been to the UK to look at options for a January move with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and West Ham all interested in the player.
The star’s agent Daniel Campos also spoke to La Liga clubs while there is also some interest from Serie A.
Almiron is still involved in the MLS play-offs with his team on the brink of making it to the MLS Cup final which looks set to take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium