Sporting Clube de Portugal have further strengthened their squad with the additions of midfielder Pedro Gonçalves and centre-back Zouhair Feddal.
On the back of his excellent season at Famalicão, Sporting had been chasing the all-action Gonçalves for several weeks, and finally tied him down to a five-year contract at a cost of €6.5 million, with Famalicão retaining 50% ownership of the player.
As for Feddal, the Moroccan defender has made 130 appearances in the top flights of Spain and Italy, spending most of his career in the former. He put pen to paper on a two-year deal, having signed from La Liga club Real Betis.
“It’s with great pride that I have the opportunity to wear this shirt,” said Gonçalves, known in the football world as “Pote”. Asked about his sensational season at Famalicão, the 22-year-old said “I fitted into the coach’s ideas and always gave my best. I hope to repeat it this year, or to do even better.”
Feddal’s experience could prove useful to a youthful squad, with teenage defenders Nuno Mendes, Eduardo Quaresma and Gonçalo Inácio all expected to see plenty of playing time at Alvalade.
“I want to say to Sporting fans that I’m really happy to be here and belong to this enormous club,” said the 31-year-old.” “I know other Moroccan players like Naybet and Hadji played here. It’s a highly recognised club throughout Europe and in Africa too. I can promise full commitment, hard work, sacrifice and to fight until the end.”
Squad strengthening not over
Pre-season training started this week, and Sporting have been keen to increase the competitiveness in the squad after a disappointing 2019/20 season.
Vitorino Antunes and Pedro Porro joined last week, goalkeeper Antonio Adan is expected to be confirmed imminently, and Rio Ave winger Nuno Santos is also reported to be close to joining the Lions.
Article update: Adan and Santos sign on the dotted line
On Thursday 20 August Sporting officially announced the the signing of Adan on a two-year contract. Born in Madrid, Adan joined colossus Real as a boy and spent a total of 16 years at Los Blancos, finally making it into the first team from 2010-2013, albeit as the backup keeper. He subsequently played for Real Betis and Atletico Madrid.
“I feel I’m at the peak of my career, I have tremendous maturity and I’m looking forward to contributing with my experience and my hard work,” said Adan, adding “I’ve always done well in these colours!” alluding to his time at Betis where he enjoyed the most successful spell in his career thus far.
And on Friday Sporting’s flurry of incoming transfer activity saw winger Nuno Santos also add to coach Rúben Amorim’s options by penning a 5-year deal at Alvalade. The 25-year-old former Benfica academy player, like Gonçalves, played a big role in Famalicão’s brilliant season.
🗣 "É um passo muito grande na minha carreira. É um orgulho enorme representar o Sporting. Vou ser mais um Leão a ajudar."— Sporting Clube de Portugal (@Sporting_CP) August 21, 2020
Bem-vindo, Nuno Santos 🟢⚪ #EuSouSporting
👉 https://t.co/I26j4W3OXb pic.twitter.com/MqWiPE5eFH
“It’s a very big step in my career. I’m enormously proud to represent Sporting. I’m going to be another Lion to help the team,” said Santos.
As part of the deal, midfielder Francisco Geraldes and striker Gelson Dala go the opposite direction and have signed permanently for Rio Ave.
by Tom Kundert