Atlanta puts brakes on £25m Newcastle deal

Miguel Almiron TEAMtalk

Atlanta United insist they are yet to receive a “serious offer” for reported Newcastle target Miguel Almiron.

Almiron, who has just helped Atlanta win the MLS Cup in their second season, has seen Tottenham, Arsenal and Newcastle linked with his services. And on Tuesday the player’s father claimed a deal with the Magpies was close.

Ruben Almiron, speaking to the media in South America, said: “He will definitely go to England, what’s left to be decided is to what club but Newcastle is the one with the advantage.”

But according to Atlanta president Darren Eales, there has been no headway made from any interested suitors.

Asked if there had been an acceptable offer, Eales told Omnisport: “No, absolutely not.

“We’ve got our three Designated Players, who have all been superb players, and they’re all under long-term contracts. The reality is no different from anywhere around the world: if they’re under contract and the right offer came at the right price, then it’s something we’d consider.

“But you’ve got to bear in mind that we play in front of crowds of over 70,000 people and we’ve got a billionaire owner [Arthur Blank] who is ultra-competitive, who has seen an MLS Cup victory and wants to make sure that we go back there next year. It’s going to need a serious offer for us to consider it.

“[Replacing departing stars] is something that we’ll be working for if the right offer comes for any of the players on our team.

“It doesn’t matter who they are, we’re always working in the background to try to make sure we’ve got somebody to come in and make sure that we’re a top team, competing for trophies year after year.”

Toon chief Rafa Benitez played down suggestions last week that a deal was in place for the Paraguay star, but there is known to be a big interest in the player behind the scenes at Newcastle – and it will be down to whether Mike Ashley sanctions a deal that could amount to £25million, as reported in the Newcastle Chronicle.

Eales added: “From our perspective, there are three aspects.

“For the players, we want the players to succeed wherever that is if they leave Atlanta. It’s good for the club, it’s good for the league and for the player as well. That’s obviously a factor.

“For the league, it’s important, a league where we are all pioneers in trying to grow the game in America. It’s important that it’s a significant number for the league.

“For the club, it’s also got to be the right figure for us. An aspect of that is that we want the player to go to a club where they can succeed, because that’s good for everybody.”

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