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Thiago Almada news: Botafogo join Man Utd & Arsenal in race to sign Messi favourite

Lionel Messi, Inter Miami, Man Utd, Arsenal, 2024

Atlanta United star Thiago Almada has attracted interest from Brazilian side Botafogo, who are keen on bringing him back to South America.

The 22-year-old set a new MLS transfer record when he joined Atlanta from Velez Sarsfield in 2022, with the American outfit sealing Almada’s signature amid competition from Manchester United and Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta even reportedly demanded his side to sign Almada before he joined Atlanta.

Since his move to America, Almada has been immense and his form saw him included in Argentina’s triumphant World Cup squad in 2022. Ahead of the tournament in Qatar, Lionel Messi even revealed his admiration for the Atlanta midfielder.

“Thiago plays loose. He’s very fast and he has a lot of one v one ability,” the Barcelona legend said. “He’s very clever and he’s not afraid of anything. He goes at you.”

Last summer, Man Utd and Manchester City were both linked with a move for Almada, while transfer expert Fabrizio Romano revealed in January that Atletico Madrid have named Almada as their number one target to replace Angel Correa, who has been heavily linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League.

However, Botafogo have not identified Almada as a key transfer target, according to The Athletic.

Thiago Almada to Botafogo?

The Athletic have reported that Botafogo want to sign Almada before their transfer window shuts next week, with the Brazilian side willing to spend $20 million to acquire the Argentina international.

Atlanta president Garth Lagerwey has previously stated that Almada is “deserving” of the MLS transfer record, which currently belongs to Miguel Almiron, courtesy of his $27m move to Newcastle United.

Thiago Almada with Lionel Messi
© IMAGO – Thiago Almada with Lionel Messi

Almada, who is the only player to ever win the World Cup while playing club football in the MLS, has just over a year left on his current contract at Atlanta United, which may allow Botafogo to seal his signature this month.

However, interest from Europe is expected to provide competition this summer if Botafogo are unable to secure a deal before their transfer window shuts.

Furthermore, Almada recently told ESPN Latin America: “I want to go to Europe now! Yes, now in this upcoming transfer window. I want to go now. I would like any top league. If I have to choose, it’s Premier League or La Liga, but I would like any top league.”

In the 2023 season, Almada scored 13 goals and provided 16 assists in 35 appearances in all competitions.

Read more about: Premier League, MLS, Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Arsenal, Atlanta United, Atlético, Botafogo, Man City, Man Utd, Lionel Messi, Thiago Almada

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