(Ben W) #1

MOST WANTED Done deals


(Porto, Por & Bra)
Porto, the club that wrote the book on
turning low-cost talent-spotting hunches
into bumper pay days, have done it again.
And in double-quick time, buying the all-
purpose Brazilian defender from Sao
Paulo for €8.5million at the start of the
season and concluding a deal seven
months later to sell the 21-year-old
to Real Madrid for €50m.
Even allowing for Sao Paulo’s 10 per
cent cut from the transaction that still
leaves FCP with €36.5m of pure profit.
Real have never paid as much for a
defender before, but at least they can
console themselves with the thought
that the bill could have been bigger still
as Militao’s buyout trigger was due to
increase to €75m in July. Once they had
identified their man, Real had to strike
while the iron was hot.
A native of Sertaozinho in the north

east of Sao Paulo state, Militao has been
outstanding for Porto, both in a stopper
role and as a right-back, while he can
also do a job as a midfield enforcer. Real,
however, only intend to use him at the
heart of their back four.
Having won his first cap for Brazil in a
friendly against El Salvador last autumn,
Militao – whose father, Valdo, was also
a defender, with Corinthians – says: “I
do think it’s important to be versatile.
“Coming through the youth system
at Sao Paulo I didn’t play in a fixed spot.
It’s helped a lot. If I can bring out the
ball with confidence from the back it’s
because of my experience in midfield.
I’ve always liked to play the ball.”
As well as securing the services of a
major aerial threat from set-pieces, Real

have also acquired a quick learner. Thrown
in at the deep end on joining Porto, he
took to European football like a duck to
water. No teething troubles, no moments
of alienation, no bouts of homesickness.
“Eder Militao is a very intelligent lad,”
declared Porto and Brazil defensive rock
Felipe recently. “He takes everything on

board very quickly. He’s adapted so well
to the European game.
“After a long run at right-back with Sao
Paulo he immediately was switched to
central defence on joining Porto. Yet he
made it look easy. It looked as though he
had been playing with us for ages.”
One area he will need to work on,

(Arsenal,
Eng & Wal)
After 11 seasons
with Arsenal, the
midfielder chose
to run down his
contract, opting
instead to sign a
four-year deal with
Juventus. Reports
on his salary have
varied, but the
BBC claims he will
earn £400,000 a
week with his new
employer in Italy.

(Borussia Dortmund,
Ger & USA)
Signed by Chelsea
in January – and
then loaned back
to Dortmund – in
a €64m deal that
made him the
most expensive
American of all
time. His summer
move is likely to
be the Blues’ only
arrival following
their global
transfer ban.

AARON RAMSEY CHRISTIAN PULISIC


EDER MILITAO


“I think it’s important
to be versatile. Coming
through the youth
system at Sao Paulo I
didn’t play in a fixed
spot. It’s helped a lot”