TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS:Signing
UPDATE, (Aug. 4, 7.40 pm ET) — Charlotte FC have signed midfielder Nuno Santos from Benfica in Portugal's top flight, the club announced Thursday evening.
Santos, 24, signed through the 2024 season with an option for 2025. He will occupy an international slot.
“Nuno is an intelligent attacking midfielder who chose to join Charlotte FC over European interest because he believes in our project and how this league develops young talent," said sporting director Zoran Krneta in a release. "He has already competed at a high level on some of the biggest stages in Portugal, European competitions and youth international football.
"Nuno comes to us at a good age and will be entering his prime adding valuable attacking options to the team as we continue to strengthen our roster for 2022 and beyond.”
Santos has accumulated 74 appearances tallying seven goals and five assists in the Portuguese first division. His best year as a professional came last season (2021-22) when he scored five goals and dished two assists in 31 appearances while on loan with Paços de Ferreira.
Santos is the latest acquisition to Charlotte's busy final day of the Secondary Transfer Window. They signed center back Adilson Malanda and right back Nathan Byrne, while also trading Christian Makoun to the New England Revolution all within the last 24 hours.
The former Portugal youth international provides the newest MLS expansion side with another option in the attacking midfielder, a need the club have been vocal about.
ORIGINAL, (Aug. 4, 5:25 pm ET) — Charlotte FC are finalizing the acquisition of attacking midfielder Nuno Santos from Benfica, sources tell MLSsoccer.com.
Santos will sign a multi-year contract and will hit the cap as a TAM player, not as a Designated Player.
Santos, 23, is a former Portuguese youth international and broke through Benfica's academy. He spent time on loan at top flight clubs Boavista, Moreirense and, most recently, Pacos de Ferreira, where he had five goals and two assists this year.
The move gives Charlotte a key addition in attacking midfield, something the club were aiming for this summer. Interim head coach Christian Lattanzio has the team seventh in the Eastern Conference on 29 points (9W-12L-2D), in the thick of the Audi MLS Cup Playoff race.
Charlotte also retain flexibility for further moves this winter. Jordy Alcivar can be bought down to make room for a Young DP to come this winter, while they still have a U22 Initiative slot open.
CLT FC had a busy summer window, adding Santos, 20-year-old center back Adilson Malanda and veteran right back Nathan Byrne. The team moved on from Alan Franco, Titi Ortiz and Christian Makoun, three players who fell out of favor after the coaching change at the beginning of June.
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