Though the summer transfer window hasn’t officially begun, clubs are already making moves to strengthen their squads ahead of next season. Somewhat unsurprisingly, there have already been a handful of notable moves involving Portuguese players. With the transfer window open in much of Europe until September 1, and with transfer rumors numerous and growing by the day, many more moves can be expected – especially if Portugal performs at the U-21 Euros later this month.
Surely the move of the summer for Portuguese fans, if not the footballing world, was Manchester City’s sensational €50 million capture of Monaco’s technical winger Bernardo Silva. After leading Monaco to the Champions League semifinal, as well as a Ligue 1 title over perennial victors PSG, a summer move seemed on the cards for Silva. Largely touted to be the long-term replacement for the aging David Silva, Bernardo Silva will surely be looking forward to playing under Pep Guardiola.
Sporting CP defender Rúben Semedo is also on the move, with his €14 million move to Villarreal CF announced today. Though firmly established as a talented, albeit mistake-prone, defender, Semedo didn’t enjoy a successful 2016/2017, much in contrast to his excellent 2015/2016. His raw talent and potential for improvement clearly trump his sub-par season, as Villarreal won the race for his signature against the likes of Newcastle and Southampton. At Villarreal, it appears Semedo will be the direct replacement for the AC Milan-bound Mateo Musacchio.
In Scotland, Rangers F.C., led by Portuguese manager Pedro Caixinha, has officially announced the arrival of three Portuguese players. Veteran Bruno Alves was brought in on a free transfer from Cagliari, after playing 36 of the 38 total matches last season. Alves was joined by Fábio Cardoso, whose move comes as little surprise following a successful season domestically with Vitória Setúbal. The centerback pair will be joined somewhat surprisingly by Dálcio, who joins on loan from Benfica after spending the majority of the past two seasons in the service of the club’s B team. More moves may be afoot, with Benfica pair Daniel Candeias and Salvador Agra (who just arrived from Nacional) are both rumored to be on the move to Scotland to join up with Caixinha.
Domestically, clubs have been just as active. As part of Rodrigo Battaglia’s move from SC Braga to Sporting CP, former Portugal U-21 right-back Ricardo Esgaio moved the opposite direction. Similarly, in a move arranged in the winter, Braga centerback André Pinto has switched Braga for Sporting in a free transfer at the expiry of his Braga contract. Porto’s Francisco Ramos has joined Vitória Guimarães on a three-year deal, after spending this season playing for Porto’s B team. Also leaving Porto is Pité, the scorer of one of Portugal’s five goals at last summer’s olympics. Pité will move to Tondela on a three-year contract, after spending last season on loan at the relegation fighters.