João Paulo has completed his transfer from Botofogo to the Seattle Sounders, according to a report out of Brazil. The move solidifies the Sounders midfield and means they now have 10 of 11 MLS Cup starters under contract ahead of the 2021 season.
The 29-year-old Brazilian first came to the Sounders about a year ago, originally on a loan with an option to buy. The deadline to make that decision was reportedly this coming Friday. The Sounders had hoped to renegotiate the terms of that deal, but according to Brazilian press, Botofogo held firm on the originally agreed-upon $1.12 million transfer. That report is disputed by others in Brazil, though, which puts the fee closer to $1 million.
“I haven’t talked yet, but they won’t pay less,” Durcesio Mello, Botofogo’s new president, told Brazilian press earlier this month. “There’s a contract and they’ve accepted it. João Paulo performed very well there, so much that they want to buy. Then you have to pay the amount.”
With no details of João Paulo’s personal terms having been released, it’s virtually impossible to say how locked in he is as a Designated Player. But if he signed a three-year extension, he could be making more than $1 million per year and still potentially fall within TAM range.