It’s been reported for weeks now that Rafa’s number one January target is £20m-rated playmaker Miguel Almiron – however it seems even clearer to me that this deal will only happen if a takeover goes through.
Atlanta’s president has insisted that he will only consider bids of £20m plus – a fee Ashley has never gone near in the past, never mind when he is seriously considering selling up!
There’s claims that the club are willing to break their transfer record (see the club’s comments from latest Fans Forum) and it’s also been reported just a few days ago that Rafa’s January plans will NOT be affected by talk of a takeover, but I don’t believe for a second that Ashley is about to spend big.
Almiron may fit his tedious transfer blue print of a young, talented player with high potential (also known as sell on potential if you’re Mike), but I just don’t see a world where he agrees to spend £20m plus on a player just as he is negotiating a deal to sell the club.
A loan deal with an option to buy (our preferred approach it seems) would have made sense, meaning any potential new owners arriving in the summer would pay the main chunk of any fee involved for a permanent deal, but Atlanta’s president has rubbished claims that they’d agree to such a deal.
So, how do we sign him? I suspect it is totally reliant on new owners arriving and giving Rafa some much needed money to spend in the new year, however time really is running out to expect a change of ownership by then – especially when it’s been reported just yesterday that Kenyon and co. still don’t have enough money to match Mike’s £300m asking price.
I’ll forever live in hope, but I can see a Dubravka-esque loan from abroad or a £3-4m budget buy being the sort of number 10 Ashley allows Rafa to sign next month, unfortunately,