ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta United announced Saturday it transferred midfielder Thiago Almada to Botafogo of Eagle Football Holdings for what the team said is a MLS-record transfer fee.

The team did not disclose the transfer fee. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the fee is $21 million and could reach $30 million if incentives are reached.

That would pass the previous MLS-record fee of $19 million received by Atlanta United for its transfer of forward Miguel Almiron to Newcastle before the 2019 season.

The move with Almada, 23, opens a designated-player spot on Atlanta United’s 2024 roster.

“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,” said Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra in a statement released by the team.

Bocanegra said the team was proud of Almada’s accomplishments “in a short period of time” since joining the team in 2022, including his debut for Argentina’s national team and winning the 2022 World Cup.

“His success is something we’re all proud of and a ton of credit is owed to our scouting department, in addition to everyone who has worked with him at the club,” Bocanegra said. “Our team has been prepared for this move and we will look to immediately reinvest in the team during the upcoming summer transfer window.”

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