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Diego signs with Flamengo in Brazil over offers from MLS

Diego Ribas Fenerbahce
Diego has decided to return to Brazil after pursuing a move to North America.

Former Brazil international midfielder Diego is heading back to his home country, having signed with Flamengo, the team announced via Twitter.

A source with knowledge of the deal said that Diego's previous club, Turkish side Fenerbahce, allowed the midfielder to leave on a free transfer. The source added that Diego has signed a three-year contract that will pay him between $2.5 million and $3 million per year after taxes.

Diego spent the last two seasons with Fener, scoring eight goals in 75 league and cup appearances.

According to the source, several MLS clubs had tried to acquire Diego, but his salary demands were such that they couldn't match what Flamengo was offering.

Diego began his professional career with Brazilian side Santos before moving to Europe in 2004. He has since had stints with Porto, Werder Bremen, Juventus, Wolfsburg, Atletico Madrid, as well as Fenerbahce. He has won league titles in Brazil, Portugal, and Spain.

At international level, Diego has made 29 appearances for Brazil, scoring six goals. He was part of two Copa America-winning sides, the first in 2004 and the second in 2007.

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.

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