Moutinho spoke with Salvador, hit with Pinto da Costa later, but the wait turned around

Medical exams done, agreement lined up with Pinto da Costa to return to FC Porto, even though the first approach was from Braga, and the unexpected « return » to the Arsenal players when it just needed to be announced at Dragão.

The soap opera made a complete comeback on Friday, wrapped in a plot of speculation. In fact, it turns out that Moutinho had everything arranged to be Porto’s reinforcement for 2023/24, after a lunch with Pinto da Costa, on the 16th, in Matosinhos, which allowed establishing the basis of an agreement. Braga sources considered the battle lost for the dragons at the time and the medical tests with the blue and whites were scheduled for Friday of that week (the 18th), having been carried out at the Espregueira Mendes clinic, at Estádio do Dragão, as THE GAME reported. The preparations for the presentation, such as the capture of images, were set in motion in the following hours, having only remained, it is now known, to put black and white. The midfielder, in fact, even got in touch with António Salvador to thank him for the invitation and inform him of his choice for the blue and white players.

The blue sky over Moutinho’s return to FC Porto began, however, to turn gray from Saturday, when a source close to Sérgio Conceição guaranteed that, due to surgery on both knees conducted by José Carlos Noronha, he had been surprised with the departure of Otávio to Al Nassr. The coach, O JOGO knows, was faced with the possibility of receiving the Portuguese international long before the departure of the Portuguese-Brazilian and never outright vetoed him, understanding that he would inject more character and personality into the locker room. However, I didn’t see him as a priority, for two reasons: the existence of six midfielders in the squad for two positions, with Alan Varela, Nico González, Eustáquio and Grujic implying large investments, Romário Baró will remain in the group for having differentiated characteristics and Bernardo Folha is even on the verge of renewing the contract; in addition, he did not see him fitting into the fast and aggressive way in which he intends to see the dragons play, which could lead to a lack of minutes, which certainly would not please the 36-year-old player himself. Conceição preferred to see the financial resources invested in strengthening other positions.

The process entered a limbo, with successive postponements of the presentation and Moutinho’s impatience grew. Braga reentered the scene and took advantage of Moutinho’s discontent to deflect him. Moreover, the process will not even have been closed by Jorge Mendes.

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