LAFC seals signing of Benfica's Andre Horta as designated player
LAFC have completed their long pursuit of Portuguese midfielder Andre Horta by signing the 21-year-old to a designated player contract on Tuesday, though his arrival date is still uncertain.
The midfielder comes to the MLS club from Benfica, with sources telling ESPN FC this week that LAFC will pay a transfer fee of about $7 million, while Horta will earn just over $1m per year in salary.
However, Horta's current loan at Portuguese club Braga lasts until June, and though LAFC said he would be added to its roster pending only a transfer certificate and work visa, sources confirmed that the loan is still active.
Unless Braga releases Horta from the loan before the close of the MLS primary transfer window on May 1 -- and sources said the chances of this were slim -- he will not officially arrive until the opening of secondary transfer window on July 10.
"Andre is a technically gifted player with enormous versatility," said LAFC coach Bob Bradley. "He is young and dynamic, and with his experience in Portugal we believe he will continue to develop into a top-class player."
Horta is the third and final DP that LAFC can sign after Mexico international Carlos Vela and Uruguay forward Diego Rossi.
He has made a total of 22 league and cup appearances this season, scoring one goal. He began his professional career with Vitoria Setubal in 2014, appearing 43 times over two seasons and scoring two goals. He moved to Benfica prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, and went on to score one goal in 16 league and cup appearances.
Horta is a youth international, having appeared for Portugal's under-18, U19, U20, and U21 teams.
Just hours before LAFC announced his deal, Horta scored for Portugal's U21s on Tuesday an European Championship qualifier in a 4-1 win over Switzerland.
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