• Velez Sarsfield attacker Thiago Almada is set to sign a long-term deal with Atlanta United, a report says
  • Almada has been on the radar of top European clubs such as Manchester United
  • The 20-year-old has earned comparisons to Lionel Messi

Manchester United is on the verge of losing a young prospect who has been viewed as a future star.

After reportedly being monitored by a wide array of European clubs, Velez Sarsfield attacking midfielder Thiago Almada has now agreed to sign a long-term deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) club Atlanta United, various outlets reported, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, citing Buenos Aires-based journalist soccer journalist Cesar Luis Merlo. International Business Times could not independently verify this information.

Almada is scheduled to sign a four-year contract with Atlanta United Tuesday and is set to join the American side for the 2022 MLS season, Merlo reported.

However, Atlanta United has yet to confirm the signing of Almada and has also “declined to comment” on earlier reports linking the club to the player, the report noted.

Atlanta United is believed to have been keeping tabs on Almada’s situation since the secondary transfer window, but the transfer never came to fruition. Almada himself even previously revealed to the media that a deal that will see him moving from Velez Sarsfield to Atlanta prior to the 2022 season was "almost completed” around that time.

“[The Atlanta United move] almost happened a few months, but it was delayed,” Almada confessed. “Everything is on track for December or January. I thought about it with my family and my representative.”

“We decided that if the move happens, we will sign and go,” he continued.

Prior to Atlanta United, Almada’s name was said to be on the list of big-name clubs such as Manchester United and Manchester City, with the latter being the attacker’s favorite destination.

Despite being dubbed by some as the "new Lionel Messi," it is said that Almada prefers a move to Manchester City over Manchester United because he is eager to follow the footsteps of Carlos Tevez, a former City star who inspired his playing style growing up.

Manchester United, on the other hand, has long been linked to a transfer swoop for Almada. An earlier report said the Red Devils began reviving their interest in Almada last year despite Manchester City being heavily favored to land the Argentine.

More recently, another report stated that Ligue 1 side Olympique de Marseille almost came close to signing Almada this past summer. However, the club’s president Pablo Longoria turned down the idea, insisting his team is already stacked with talented attackers.

"[Thiago] 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 in July.

'Not good enough': Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of the 4-2 defeat at Leicester
'Not good enough': Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of the 4-2 defeat at Leicester AFP / Paul ELLIS