Another United States men’s national team prodigy looks set to make a move to European soccer.
Johnny Cardoso, who plays for Brazilian giants Internacional, has reportedly agreed on a move to Spanish side Real Betis, and it will be annouced during the January 2024 transfer window. Cardoso, a midfielder, has made nine appearances for the USMNT and has played 138 times for Internacional in all competitions.
Details of the deal
The Athletic on Friday reported that Cardoso — a New Jersey native who has lived in Brazil since infancy — has fetched a fee between six and eight million euros from Betis. The Andalusian club, seventh in the Spanish league at present, has not yet completed the transfer, but it seems on the verge of being finalized.
Cardoso is a versatile midfielder who can play in a box-to-box role as well as an interior playmaking role. He was part of the CONCACAF Nations League-winning USMNT squad over the summer, and his five appearances in 2023 alone are a new personal best.
Betis: An ideal stepping stone
Head coach Manuel Pellegrini has spearheaded a revival at Real Betis that has seen the Verdiblancos compete in the UEFA Europa League for three seasons running.
Betis have finished inside LaLiga‘s top six in each of Pellegrini‘s three full seasons in charge, winning praise for playing an attractive possession-based style. Betis also won the Copa del Rey in 2022, getting the better of Yunus Musah‘s Valencia in the final.
It remains to be seen whether Betis will immediately integrate Cardoso into the first team or try to sort out a separate loan for him. But the 22-year-old will complete an exciting and challenging move to Spain — and perhaps follow in the footsteps of a player like Musah.