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40 million: why did PSG not try to pay?
The future will tell if 40 million euros (Le Parisien speaks of 30 million) is a good deal or not to recruit Vitinha. But PSG had no choice: they had to reach the release clause of the Portuguese to afford it. Because the young midfielder, who was still under contract until June 2024 with Porto, was coveted. Very coveted even. Arsenal but especially Manchester United were notably in the ranks.
And a few days ago, the president of FC Porto, Pinto da Costa, dotted the i’s: “We received a huge offer for Vitinha but turned it down. Because it was lower than the release clause. If a club comes with a euro below this clause, it will not leave“, had launched Da Costa. PSG heard the message.
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Pure product of the Porto training center, Vitinha won over Portugal with his technical ease in particular and his rare ability to improve Porto’s game. His two small goals and four assists in the league last season do not sum up the enormous influence he had on the Dragons. If he does not hesitate to help with the pressing with his small size (1m72) – a sine qua non condition for not attracting the wrath of Sérgio Conceição when playing under his orders -, it is by his finesse with the ball at his feet, his intelligence and his reading of the game that he has established over the months as one of FC Porto’s key assets.
“He is a remarkable footballer, who shows enormous maturity despite his very young age, he is special. He reads the game like no one else, takes in information more quickly and anticipates all situations. When he manages to do what he knows how to do, he makes FC Porto’s game unstoppable, always setting the right pace, sometimes more calm or more intense. We are facing a maestro“, greeted last February in A Bola, Deco, the legend of Porto and Barça in remarks taken up by Trivela.
Vitinha with FC Porto in 2022
Credit: Getty Images
A creative milieu to prepare for the post-Verratti period?
If the midfielder of PSG wanted to reshape his midfield during this transfer window – a weakness identified for several years now at PSG -, Vitinha, who most often played 8 in the 4-4-2 set up by Sérgio Conceição, is however not not the much sought-after effective pair to associate with Marco Verratti. “I think it’s more logical to replace Verratti as PSG plays a lot of matches. And to prepare the post-Verrattislides Alex Ribeiro. The role that Verratti assumes in Paris is totally the profile that Vitinha could have in a few years.”
Why Wolverhampton can bite their fingers?
Let’s go back a little less than two years. During the summer of 2020. At the beginning of September more precisely. A few days after the arrival of Fabio Silva against 40 million euros, Wolverhampton announces the arrival of another promising young Portuguese, Vitinha. The native of Santo Tirso is loaned to Wolves with a 20 million purchase option. But after a mixed year across the Channel (note: 19 Premier League games, 5 starts), the English club decides to pass its turn in the summer of 2021.Wolverhampton did not exercise the option. And that caused some problems for Porto, which had planned the 20 million euros for its sale in its balance sheet at the end of its loan.“, recalls Alex Ribeiro.
If his return was able to spend a few sleepless nights for the club’s accountants, everyone finally rubbed their hands in Porto, where Vitinha largely won the double-cup championship. “Regarding Vitinha, I see a real phenomenon, a player with enormous potential, who is already part of the team’s references. It’s incredibly lucky that Wolverhampton didn’t exercise the option to buy him.”, had also slipped decoration. A year later, to say that Wolverhampton have not had a hollow nose is indeed an understatement.
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Why this transfer to Sérgio Conceição?
For the Portuguese press, this transfer from Vitinha could leave traces in Porto. Because if the Portuguese club still needs cash to replenish its coffers, Sérgio Conceição did not taste this departure. While Fabio Vieira has already gone to Arsenal against a check for 35 million, the former Nantes coach would be annoyed to see another of his key players leave.
“Vitinha’s departure is a blow” for Conceição writes the daily A Bola which notes that the Dragons coach hopes to see his club provide him with guarantees to compensate for these departures. Even if for many, we do not replace like these players with this type of profile.
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