Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is said to be ‘desperate’ to sign Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron, a player who was supposed to be on his way to Arsenal.

Atlanta United want bidding to start around £25m for Miguel Almiron, a player who was reportedly on his way to Arsenal for just £11.5m. Confused yet? Let’s go back to the beginning…

Miguel Almiron was no sooner linked with Arsenal when his hamstring exploded.

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 05: Midfielder Miguel Almiron #10 of Atlanta United dribbles during the game against the New York Red Bulls at Bobby Dodd Stadium on March 5, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA – MARCH 05: Midfielder Miguel Almiron #10 of Atlanta United dribbles during the game against the New York Red Bulls at Bobby Dodd Stadium on March 5, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Well, exploded might be a bit hyperbolic, but it says something when a player, who has had one recorded injury in his career, had to be replaced 30 minutes into the first game after his name was linked with the Gunners.

With only two games remaining in the MLS season for Atalanta, reports from the States claimed that Almiron had played his last game for the Five Stripes. Given his injury and links with a move, it wasn’t a big leap.

Almiron was subbed off against the New England Revolution in October, a game his side won 2-1, with just 30 minutes on the clock. When he was taken off reports claimed he was ’emotional’ on the sidelines, hinting that his time with the club had come to a sad end.

Fox Sports then announced that Arsenal had agreed an £11.5m deal to sign the goalscoring attacking midfielder. That was followed up by a clarification from his agent that hinted at contact but said nothing was formal.

Since then, however, the comments of the 24-year-old’s agent have fallen by the wayside and the story of his signing dominated for a while despite it being reported that the original comments from their president, Darren Eales, which started the frenzy, are not true:

Eales, it’s worth noting, used to serve as Tottenham’s director of football.

Almiron looks like he will leave Atlanta, and he will reportedly be replaced by Gonzalo ‘Pity’ Martinez from River Plate according to Diego Cora from ESPN. ‘Pity’ is his nickname which instantly makes me think of Theo ‘Unlucky’ Walcott even though it translates more to ‘Little Pete’ than the sentiment.

The club and fans expect Almiron to leave in January. There is, however, no certainty that will be for Arsenal as his agent said and a work permit could be a major stumbling block for any side in the Premier League. Nor is there any guarantee that Mike Ashley will meet Atlanta’s £25m asking price. West Ham and Everton are also said to be interested.

If you’d like to know more about Almiron, check out this profile we got Christopher Weeks, who lives Stateside, to put together when we were linked back in January 2017. It has been updated, in parts, for this season.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.