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Man Utd facing blow in pursuit of ‘new Messi’ as wonderkid set for transfer

Manchester United were reportedly one of several clubs tracking the wonderkid, but it looks as if the Argentine has already made up his mind

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reviews Manchester City defeat

Manchester United are reportedly set to miss out on their pursuit of Velez Sarsfield wonderkid Thiago Almada.

The 20-year-old attacker has earned several comparisons to Lionel Messi, after possessing similar traits to the Argentine superstar.

Almada came through the ranks at Velez Sarsfield, before making his debut for the club in 2018.

And according to several outlets, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, MLS club Atlanta United have agreed a long-term deal with the forward.

The report says Almada will sign a four-year deal with Atlanta on Tuesday and will join up with the team for the 2022 MLS season.

Almada’s move to Atlanta almost went through in August, but the move was subsequently delayed due to paperwork issues.

Thiago Almada has been linked with a move to Manchester United “[The Atlanta United move] almost happened a few months, but it was delayed,” Almada said. “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.”

The 20-year-old was recently called up to the Argentina senior squad for the first time for their recent qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil.

Almada was said to have attracted interest from several big-name European clubs including United and rivals Manchester City.

The Argentine is rumoured to have preferred a move to City after expressing his desire to follow in the footsteps of former club star and compatriot Carlos Tevez.

French duo Lyon and Marseille were also reportedly keen on the youngster, but any move failed to materialise.

Speaking of potential interest in Almada in July, Lyon president Pablo Longoria dismissed the speculation.

Almada is set to join MLS side Atlanta United “[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,” he told French outlet Le10sport in July.

The news will come as a blow to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ’s side, who will be looking at the possibility of strengthening their squad in January following their latest defeat.

United lost the Manchester derby 2-0 at Old Trafford, heaping further pressure on Solskjaer.

Eric Bailly gifted the visitors an early lead after he turned the ball into his own net, before Bernando Silva put City two ahead just before half-time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lost to Manchester City on Saturday ( Image:

PA) Speaking after the game, Solskjaer said his United side have gone backwards since the end of the previous campaign.

“We started to look a proper team at the end of last season and we have to get back to that,” Solskjaer said. “We had a couple of good results before this – Atalanta and Tottenham – and today was a big step back.

“We still don’t trust ourselves with the ball and we don’t find the angles and sometimes that is also the team you play against. We sometimes made the wrong solutions, sometimes the right solution but the wrong execution.

“It is very disappointing, and it feels like after last week we have made a step or two forwards results-wise and then a big step backwards. It is a way of losing we don’t like. When you lose a game against a good team you want to see a better Man Utd team than that.”

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