Atlanta United selling Luiz Araujo to Flamengo

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

Atlanta United agreed to sell Luiz Araujo to Flamengo for a reported transfer fee in the eight figures, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

As reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier Thursday, Araujo, 26, will remain with the MLS club through the June 24 match at the New York Red Bulls.

“We signed Luiz two years ago from the French champions and are sending him to the reigning Copa Libertadores champions,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said in a statement from the team. “Ultimately, this was an opportunity that suits both parties well and gives us enough time to plan and evaluate as we’ll be actively seeking reinforcements in the summer transfer window. We wish Luiz the best of luck at Flamengo and in his future endeavors.”

Atlanta United purchased Araujo from Lille in France for a reported transfer fee of $11.8 million during the 2021 season. Araujo is Atlanta United’s highest-paid player, with a reported salary of almost $4.5 million.

Araujo came to Atlanta United discussing how we wanted the challenge of helping the club win another MLS Cup after having helped Lille win Ligue 1 in France and qualify for the Champions League. Though immensely skilled, Araujo had difficulty being as impactful as is expected from a Designated Player. Playing primarily as a right winger, he has three goals and two assists this season and 11 goals and 12 assists in 56 appearances overall for Atlanta United.

The sale of Araujo means Atlanta United will have one DP slot open when the summer transfer window opens July 5. The window will close Aug. 2.

The sale of Araujo also is the first move in what may be a very busy summer for Atlanta United. The club likely will field offers for Thiago Almada, an MVP candidate with six goals and seven assists; fullback Caleb Wiley, who made his first appearance for the U.S. men’s national team and currently is with the U20s for its World Cup; and possibly centerback Miles Robinson, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

President Garth Lagerwey and Vice President Carlos Bocanegra said in past weeks that the club will be active in the transfer window, possibly adding several players. The club is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, with 21 points from 13 matches. It will play at Chicago on Saturday.

Manager Gonzalo Pineda has choices to replace Araujo. He could move Brooks Lennon from right fullback to right wing, move Derrick Etienne from left wing to right, or Wiley from left wing to right wing. He also has Machop Chol and Tyler Wolff available.