Lille sign Brazil under-23 midfielder Maia

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Rio de Janeiro, July 26 (IANS) French top division football club LOSC Lille have announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Thiago Maia, ending weeks of speculation about the 20-year-old’s future.

Maia agreed to a five-year deal with the French Ligue 1 side, who reportedly paid 14 million euros to secure him from Brazil’s Santos, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I worked hard to be able to achieve my goal of playing in Europe,” Maia said during his official presentation on Tuesday.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity. I have discussed this a lot with my family and we agreed that Lille would be the best place to develop, learn and progress. I’m very proud to have come here.”

Lille are said to have beaten off interest in Maia from Juventus, Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.

The Brazil under 23 international is the fourth Brazilian in Lille’s squad, joining left back Caju, forward Luiz Araujo and midfielder Thiago Mendes.

–IANS

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