It appears to call of his homeland was too much for Juninho to resist. The LA Galaxy midfielder announced via Twitter on Thursday that he was going to re-sign with Brazilian club Sao Paulo, the team who had loaned him to MLS in the first place.
I will always have a place for you in my heart.I want to let you know that I have decided to re-sign with Sao Paulo fc.— Juninho (@Juninho19LA) December 22, 2011
The Galaxy had been holding out possibility that he could return to the team on another loan. But Juninho's Tweet seems to have closed that window. In order to keep Juninho, the Galaxy would have almost certainly needed to pay a significant fee and likely would have been forced to make the 22-year-old a Designated Player.
The move leaves a rather significant hole in the Galaxy midfield. During his two seasons in MLS, Juninho was one of the league's top box-to-box central midfielders. In 2011, he scored four goals and had two assists, while starting 30 games during the regular season and 3 of 4 playoff games in helping lead the Galaxy to their first MLS Cup since 2005.
The Galaxy have already made a couple moves with Juninho's absence seemingly in mind. Last week, they signed Marcelo Sarvas, a 30-year-old midfielder. On Thursday, they signed 18-year-old Jose Villareal as a Home Grown Player.
For more on what Juninho's departure could mean, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential.