Negotiations between Atlanta United and Newcastle United over the sale of star midfielder Miguel Almiron came down to the wire, but just before the English transfer window slammed shut at the end of January, the deal got done.
Discussions went on for a while, with reports first linking Newcastle to the Paraguayan star in autumn, and there were times in January where it looked like the deal might not get completed.
Atlanta president Darren Eales opened up on the discussions, admitting he wasn’t sure Newcastle would ever meet their asking price before eventually agreeing to an MLS record fee.
“We were always pretty firm about the figure we wanted,” Eales said, via Chronicle Live. “We knew there was an interest at that level but I’d say I was skeptical, given his track record, that we would get to a figure that was acceptable. But to be fair to Newcastle, in the end it was a good hard negotiation.”
In the end, Newcastle got their man and Almiron got his dream.
“Clearly, Rafa [Benitez, Newcastle’s manager] wanted the player and they had done their homework. He was someone they had thought about,” Eales said. “They had done their due diligence and thought ‘okay, we’re going to push the button on this one’.
“It was important for Miggy because it was his dream,” Eales added. “It was important for the league, too, for that type of number. It is by far and away the record transfer fee for MLS. I think we have helped to set the table for future transfers.”