Atlanta United’s attacking midfielder Thiago Almada has attracted the interest of a number of big European clubs, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before he heads overseas. However, the MLS side isn’t losing hopes that they will keep him at least for one more season.
Speaking with reporters over the weekend, Atlanta United’s technical director, Carlos Bocanegra, acknowledged interest in Almada but said that the club is planning for him to return for the 2024 campaign.
“We’re planning on him coming back,” said Bocanegra. “Things can change. I don’t want to say 100% he’s back because that’s how it works in the global football world. But great kid and at the moment we’re counting on him being part of our group next year.”
Despite wanting to keep Almada, Bocanegra said that the club would take the player’s wishes into consideration.
“If top clubs and Champions League clubs are coming in for Thiago, it’s more of a discussion with the player, and we want to work together,” Bocanegra added.
Thiago Almada joined Atlanta United ahead of the 2022 MLS season in a $16 million transfer from Argentine side Velez Sarsfield. It was the record inbound transfer in the history of the league.
Almada immediately showed flashes of great talent in his first season in MLS, scoring seven goals and winning the MLS Newcomer of the Year award. The 22-year-old player played even better in 2023, providing 11 goals and 19 assists en route to the MLS All-Star nod and MLS Young Player of the Year award.