Atlanta United spends big entering first MLS season, remains on track for Guardado

Tuesday December 6th, 2016

Atlanta United is serious about spending money ahead of its inaugural season.

I'm told the transfer fee for 22-year-old Young Designated Player and Paraguayan midfielder Miguel Almirón was $8.5 million (as was previously reported by FourFourTwo)—and that the club is still on track to buy Mexican star Andrés Guardado from PSV Eindhoven in January.

Then there's coach Tata Martino, who sources say is the second-highest paid coach in MLS behind NYCFC’s Patrick Vieira. An Atlanta source says, though, that while the club appreciates the ambition of owner Arthur Blank, the franchise isn’t spending beyond its means—that this is all in line with revenues from sponsorships and ticket sales.

Atlanta wants to be the next Seattle, or even better, and that includes competing for the playoffs in its first season.

Atlanta currently has 10 players signed ahead of next week's MLS expansion draft: Almirón; another Young DP in 22-year-old Argentine winger Hector Villalba; Trinidad & Tobago and Premier League veteran Kenwyne Jones; U.S. youth internationals Andrew Carleton, Brandon Vazquez and Chris Goslin; midfielders Junior Burgos, Chris McCann and Jeffrey Otoo; and its first signing, goalkeeper Alexander Tambakis.

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