It is inevitable. Emerging Portuguese talent in Liga NOS really only see one option if they want to blossom into the best player possible: leave Portugal for greener ($$) pastures. It is hard to argue with them; as England, France, Spain, Germany and Italy can offer tougher competition, European glory, extra exposure, and of course, more money. Still, knowing when to go, and where to go, become the ultimate factor in determining your success as a player. As we have seen, some players leave Portugal and become world greats, while others leave Portugal and become forgotten. Let us take a look at five recent Portuguese departures, and how the move has worked for them.
Genoa to Inter?
According to reports coming out of Portugal, Inter Milan are lining up a move for Genoa defensive midfielder Miguel Veloso. Veloso was disappointing last season for the Italian club, but has been much better so far this season. Due to his fine performances, clubs such as Lazio and CSKA Moscow, and more recently Inter Milan, were on his tail. Inter, however, look to be the most likely destination if Veloso were to leave Genoa. Inter’s Thiago Motta is set to be sold to PSG, and the club regards Veloso as the perfect replacement. Inter is also interested in Porto playmaker Freddy Guarin, so Veloso’s move may depend on whether the Colombian completes his move.
Rui Canico – Benfica to Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, or Inter Milan?
Rui Canico, currently playing for Benfica’s youth team, has attracted the interest of some of the largest clubs across Europe. Aged just 16, Canico is beginning to be a regular for the Portugal U-16 team, with a U-17 debut not too far off. His contract with Benfica is set to expire at the end of the season, and already clubs from Italy and Spain are expressing interest. Among the list of suitors is AC Milan, Inter Milan, and Atletico Madrid.
Mica – Sporting to Inter?
Inter Milan are expected to complete the signing of Michael Gonçalves Pinto, better known as Mica. Mica currently plies his trade in Sporting Lisbon’s U-19 team. He is a regular for the Portugal U-18 team, and is expected to make his U-19 debut soon. At age 18, it appears that Mica has a glittering career ahead of him. This observation must be quite evident, because Manchester City, Fulham, and Bayern Munich are all said to be interested. Inter seem to be the closest to the player, however, and a deal looks to be finalized soon.
Joao Moutinho – Porto to Inter?
Inter Milan just won’t give up on Joao Moutinho. The midfielder has been in impressive form this season, scoring twice. In fact, Moutinho has been stellar for both the National Team and Porto ever since he made the switch to Porto at the beginning of last season. He has established himself as one of the finest midfielders playing in Portugal, and even Europe. His performances have caught the eyes of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Chelsea was said to have been interested him in the off-season, but the club signed Raul Meireles instead. Inter Milan are now knocking at Porto’s door. If Moutinho continues his great form, it is only a matter of time until a bigger club comes swooping.
Louletano youngster Joao Reis is on the verge of signing with Italian giants Inter, after a successful trial with the club. Fifa recently released a list of young stars for viewers to comment on. Joao Reis was surprisingly included on that list, supposedly due to his superb performances for Louletano, in the third division in Portugal. Benfica and Chelsea were also said to be interested, so his skills must be a sight to behold. The youngster will reportedly now link up with Inter’s Under-19 team.
There are quite a few things happening in regards to Portuguese transfers. Like most transfer periods, there are more rumors than actual deals going through.
1. Ukra Close to Newcastle Switch – Porto-owned, Olhanense starlet, has been a revelation for the Portuguese Liga side this season. Newcastle were close to signing him this January. Their 2 million pound offer was rejected by Porto earlier this season, so they need to up the ante with their bid for the winger.
2. Vaz Te – Bolton to ? – Portuguese striker Ricardo Vaz Te, who hasn’t seen a first-team opportunity in over a season, has decided to rescind his contract with English side Bolton Wanderers. Vaz Te has suffered through questionable fitness throughout the last few seasons, so he is ready to find a fresh challenge.
3. Joao Moutinho Sure to Leave Sporting – Sporting captain Joao Moutinho has recently come out and said that he will surely leave Sporting for a Premier League club. Everton are known to be courting him, and with Nuno Valente the Portuguese scout, the deal will most likely happen.
As the transfer window slowly comes to a close, there is still much news to report involving Portuguese transfers. Here is the important stuff I could find:
Pedro Mendes moves to Sporting
After what feels like years of negotiations, Pedro Mendes has put pen-to-paper on a 2 and a half year deal. The Portuguese international has recently been out of action for Rangers due to an injury picked up in the Champions League. Pedro Mendes was one of Rangers highest paid players, so this move is an important one for Sporting.
Inter Drop Fernandes Interest
Manuel Fernandes, who has recently been recovering from a leg injury, was thought to have moved to Inter Milan on a loan deal. Evidently, all of the specifics of the move were ironed out, and all that was left was the routine medical. It appears as if Fernandes’s leg hasn’t quite healed enough, so the deal fell through. His presentation was planned out and ready to go, but it was subsequently cancelled. The Valenica midfielder is actively seeking a starting position for this summer’s World Cup, and was hoping that a move would secure that hope.
Ricardo Costa to Lille
Portuguese international defender Ricardo Costa has transfered from German champions Wolfsburg to Ligue 1 side Lille. Lille are enjoying a splendid season, currently sitting third in the French League. Costa’s playing time has slowly been dwindling, so in hopes to renew interest from Carlos Queiroz, and to gain some more playing time, he has moved to France.
Stanislas Oliveira to Blackburn?
In a few very peculiar stories, I learned that Portuguese under – 21 international Stanislas Oliveira has moved from Ligue 2 side Sedan to Premier League side Blackburn Rovers for a estimated 500,000 pound fee. I find this hard to believe, but I guess anything is possible in this wonderful sport.
After a transfer ordeal with Sporting Lisbon, it looks as if Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan have won the race to sign Manuel Fernandes on loan. The Portuguese International was out of favor at Valencia after roughly 8 months of injury, so the purpose of this move is for more playing time. Two words are key to catching the bus to next summer’s World Cup:PLAYING TIME. That’s exactly what Manuel needs. He showed us at Everton that he has the ability to play against the better teams…..lets hope he can show us now.