Written by Patrick Echatah

At an MLS record price, Atlanta United have sold Thiago Almada to Brazilian top division team Botafogo, the club said on Saturday.

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Almada, an Argentinean World Cup winner in 2022, signed with Atlanta in February 2022 for an MLS record $16 million, reportedly from his boyhood team Vélez Sarsfield.

Now, he’s leaving for a fee that surpasses the two previous benchmark transactions, in which Miguel Almirón joined Newcastle United from Atlanta in 2019 and Alphonso Davies joined Bayern Munich from Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2018.

The 23-year-old Almada will reportedly advance to Lyon next winter as part of the agreement.

Both Botafogo and Ligue 1 team Crystal Palace (Premier League) are owned by Eagle Football Holdings, which is directed by John Textor.

“We spent more than a year recruiting Thiago to join Atlanta United and during that process, we agreed that our club could provide a great platform to showcase his abilities and he would have the opportunity to continue his development until the time was right for him to move on to the next challenge,” vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a release.

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Brazilian winger Célio Pompeu has signed a new deal with St. Louis CITY SC, the team announced on Friday

With a club option for 2027, the 24-year-old Brazilian is now signed through the 2026 MLS season.

“We are proud to see Célio’s growth through our pipeline”, sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel said in a press release. “He has grown as a professional, both on and off the field, and to reap the rewards with a new contract was something he worked really hard for.”

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