Atlanta United are making serious moves ahead of their MLS debut in 2017 and after unveiling former Argentina manager Gerardo Martino as Head Coach in September, the new franchise have now reportedly reached an agreement with Lanús for Paraguayan international Miguel Almirón.
The 22-year-old is said to be travelling to the United States to complete the deal having already verbally agreed the move. Lanús president Nicolás Russo confirmed on Argentinian radio, “The deal for Almirón is not yet complete, but he really wants to go to the United States.”
It is understood that Atlanta will pay around $8.5 million, although that figure may rise, and Almirón’s first club Cerro Porteño will received 20% of any fee.
Almirón was perhaps the standout player as Lanús lifted the Primera title earlier in the year and aside from becoming a regular for Paraguay found himself linked with high-profile transfers to Europe. Rumours of a switch to Premier League side Arsenal were rife over the summer but came to nothing as Lanús began their faltering title defence.
The Paraguayan made a slow start to life with Lanús after joining from Cerro Porteño in 2015 but took his chance when coach Jorge Almirón (no relation) brought him into the starting eleven during the Torneo Transición.
Almirón’s pace and dynamism from midfield posed an enormous threat on the counter and while the youngster is often mentioned as a left winger his best performances in a Granate shirt have come when playing more centrally. This was typified in the season finale when Almirón shone and helped Lanús brush aside San Lorenzo to lift the title.
If Atlanta seal the transfer ahead of January, it will come as a blow to Lanús who have a Copa Libertadores campaign to contend with and while Almirón’s move away from La Fortaleza comes as no real surprise, a switch to MLS football certainly does.
Major League Soccer is all too often associated with big names arriving from Europe as their careers wind down, Almirón will be coming with vast potential and his best years surely to come.