If one is to believe the most optimistic of hype, New York City FC may have just signed the future of Brazilian soccer.
For now, the club has just signed Talles Magno, a much heralded yet mostly unproven 18-year-old forward with as high a ceiling as any player to join the club in recent years.
NYCFC on Wednesday announced the signing of Magno from CR Vasco de Gama in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Under contract through the 2026 season, Magno was inked to a young designated player deal, filling one of two DP spots NYCFC had left unused entering the season. According to reports in Brazilian media, the transfer fee is worth up to around $12 million. Magno will be added to the MLS roster upon receipt of his work visa and transfer certification.
"I want to show my talent to the club and this league. It’s a league that is very well spoken of in Brazil," Magno said in a statement. "I want to give my best to the club, to score many goals, give many assists to help my teammates and to be champion of the league. I ask the supporters to trust in me and trust what I can give NYCFC. I will give my best effort and fight for the team."
In a news release, NYCFC sporting director David Lee and coach Ronny Deila both expressed excitement with the signing but stressed patience for the teenager’s development.
"[Magno] is a dynamic attacker who is quick, direct and capable of playing as a winger or forward," Lee said. "Talles is someone we believe will excite our fans, but as with any new player, particularly someone his age, we will be patient as he adapts and settles into his new environment on and off the pitch. We have an excellent staff that will support him through this process every step of the way which will give him the best opportunity to showcase his talent."
Making his professional debut as a 16-year-old in 2019, Magno was named to The Guardian’s "Next Generation" list of best talents in world soccer soon after establishing himself with the first team at Vasco de Gama. He helped guide the Brazil U-17 team to a World Cup victory on home soil the same year, but suffered a foot fracture in February 2020 and hasn’t regained the same form. Magno was rumored to have interest from then-English champion Liverpool last summer.
"We’re really excited to sign Talles and are ready to welcome him into our dressing room," Deila said. "It has been really important for us to continue to add attacking talent to our roster, and Talles will be a great addition to our group of forwards. He has a lot of potential and we’re prepared to help him continue his growth as a footballer, but he is still only 18 years old. We do not want to put too much pressure on his shoulders right away."