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The timeline of Newcastle United (not!) buying Miguel Almiron on Wednesday

3 months ago
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Miguel Almiron has long been reported as Rafa Benitez’ top January transfer target.

That is something I can believe.

The Newcastle boss has been desperate for a new number 10 ever since arriving at St James Park, especially since promotion, and the 24 year looks to have loads of potential.

He still has it all to prove of course if moving to the Premier League but he could hardly have done anymore since moving to the MLS 22 months ago.

Moving from Lanus (Argentina) to Atlanta for £7m in February 2017, Miguel Almiron has started 65 games (2 off the bench) and has scored 22 goals with 21 assists, involved in 43 goals altogether.

He rounded off his season on Saturday when helping his club to win the MLS Cup, the main competition to decide the top dog between the Western and Eastern conferences.

The player definitely looks set to now leave the MLS and his agent has said the Premier League will be his next stop, his agent saying this shortly after being seen at Newcastle’s home win at St James Park over Bournemouth last month.

So will he be coming to Tyneside.

Well, there was one of those modern day frenzies on Wednesday, where constant media updates on the story battered your head.

However, it didn’t batter my head on this occasion, as I was in work meetings all day and thankfully came at the ‘frenzy’ having known what the ‘final outcome’ was. A bit like watching Match of The Day, you can look back on the action without the usual hopes and anxieties.

This is what I found last (Wednesday) night when I reviewed the day’s events, from start to finish:

Press in Paraguay report Miguel Almiron is to sign for Newcastle United ‘In the next few hours’ with an agreement already in place.

Miguel Almiron puts a photo of himself on Instagram with ‘Next stop?’ caption, leading the media to speculate that this was a sure sign a move was imminent.

Media in Paraguay say that Miguel Almiron is set to join Newcastle and that the fee will exceed the previous record paid for any Paraguayan player. That current record being $28m (£22.1m).

UK based journalist Alan Nixon reports that Almiron is on his way to Newcastle ‘Providing there are no late hijacks.’

The Atlanta United president Darren Eales tells Sky Sports News the club haven’t received a single offer so far for Miguel Almiron.

NBC Sports then quote the Atlanta United President:

“Unless it is something that is a really serious offer, we will not consider it.

“The offer has to start with a 3 for me to consider it.”

For a deal to start with a ‘3’, it would appear that Atlanta are claiming they will take no less than $30m (£23.7m).

I could and did laugh about it but I know in the past what it is like when you are seeing these updates coming in one after the other.

No matter how cynical/sceptical you are, at least a small part of you starts to think this could be the one time when the media are proved correct. A bit like the latest claims that Mike Ashley is really really really, honestly, trying to sell Newcastle United at a market price with talks in progress….

As for Miguel Almiron, I suppose I see him signing for Newcastle United for £20m+ (or is it £24m+?) as inextricably tied to the Mike Ashley club sale story.

If Newcastle had new owners then if Rafa Benitez wanted Miguel Almiron, I would be amazed if the deal didn’t happen.

However, after eleven and a half years of nonsense and Rafa Benitez not allowed to buy any player for more than £10m since promotion, am I really expected to believe that Mike Ashley would then say yes to paying £24m or more for a player, at the very time a sale of the club is supposedly going to happen in the near future?

A big part of me wishes that just like yesterday when I missed the Miguel Almiron frenzy, I could just disappear/hibernate and wake up on 1 February 2019 to discover that Mike Ashley has sold the club and new owners have backed Rafa Benitez with Miguel Almiron and a number of other essential quality signings, to both ensure safety this season and start rebuilding the club after Ashley has done his best to wreck it.

Sadly though, I have a dog and family to house, clothe and feed, so there won’t be any disappearing act for the next seven weeks.

However, one small silver lining, in that I have another very busy day on Thursday, so it won’t be until later on when once again I can look back and review what did…and didn’t, happen with Newcastle United today.
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