KEY POINTS

  • Olympique de Marseille president insists they don't need Thiago Almada
  • Almada has been on Manchester United's radar 
  • The 20-year-old is drawing comparisons to Lionel Messi

A Manchester United-linked striker had just lost one of his top suitors.

Velez Sarsfield forward Thiago Almada emerged as one of the brightest young talents from South America.

It didn’t take long before top European clubs such as Manchester United and Ligue 1’s Olympique de Marseille (OM) noticed Almada’s potential, with both teams being linked to a transfer swoop for the striker in recent times.

OM president Pablo Longoria earlier announced that he is aiming to land a total of “11” signings this summer with Almada believed to be amongst the club’s targets.

However, Longoria recently had a sudden shift in stance regarding Almada’s transfer as he implied that the youngster is no longer needed in his squad.

"Almada is one of the best players in South America, but in the construction of the squad, we already have players in this position numerically,” Longoria told French outlet Le10sport last week.

OM’s attacking unit now consists of a wide array of strikers, including new signings Konrad de la Fuente and Leonardo Balerdi.

New OM head coach Jorge Sampaoli is believed to be spearheading the search for additional South American players, particularly Almada, who has been dubbed by some as the “New Lionel Messi.”

However, the OM front office has “no intention” of meeting Velez Sarsfield's demands for the Argentine’s departure.

Hence, Longoria's interest in Almada has now “cooled off significantly,” the outlet noted in a follow-up report.

Despite being scratched off from OM’s transfer wish list this summer, Almada could still be a target for the French club in the near future.

With OM’s veteran forward Dimitri Payet already aging, the club’s bosses are “looking for an element” capable of replacing the 34-year-old, per L’Équipe (via Top Mercato)

Prior to the aforementioned transfer link-ups, Almada has been on Manchester United’s radar.

The said interest reportedly progressed, and rumors of an agreement to sign the 20-year-old this summer for a fee of around £14 million ($19 million) followed suit.

Almada has yet to provide an update on his situation, but he previously hinted at his desire to play for Marcelo Bielsa’s squad.

“I would like [Marcelo] Bielsa to coach me,” Almada told  TyC Sports last year. “My friends sent me something about Bielsa, but I am calm.”

“Whether it happens or not, we have to see,” he continued. “I don’t watch much soccer, but I saw some Leeds highlights and I saw something similar to what we did in Vélez with Heinze.”

Marcelo Bielsa The unpredictable Marcelo Bielsa is one of the candidates to take over as Mexico coach. Photo: Getty Images