After a summer unlike any other within the footballing spectrum, a chorus of whispers and rumours were at last silenced by the closure of the transfer window.
In typical fashion, movement within Portuguese shores proved to be as frequent as ever, despite expectations of a more muted pandemic-induced showing, with all three of the nation’s elite, among others, making readjustments to their squads on deadline day. Keeping you up-to-date with the ins-and-outs, PortuGOAL brings you all of the major deals marking a frenetic day of negotiations in the Primeira Liga.
Hectic comings and goings at Porto
Headlined by high-profile exits, Liga NOS title holders FC Porto were the big movers going into the final hours of the transfer market. Increasing pressures to balance the books and fears of contract rebels led to the relatively abrupt exit of Danilo Pereira, joining Paris-Saint Germain on a €4-million-loan with an additional obligation to buy, valued at €16 million.
Once linked with a switch to the French capital, the Dragons’ main source of income came from Alex Telles’ anticipated switch to Old Trafford, joining Manchester United for little less than €20 million ahead of the end of his Porto contract in 2021. The departures opened the doors for Felipe Anderson to make his unexpected move to Portugal, joining on loan for a season from West Ham United.
Out of favour under David Moyes in East London, Anderson last impressed in his debut campaign in England after joining the Hammers from Lazio in 2018, scoring 10 and assisting five in 40 games all season.
Aged 27, the ex-Santos winger now joins Porto alongside a direct replacement for Danilo, also from the Premier League, in the form of Liverpool's Marko Grujic. Arriving on loan after similar spells in the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin, the towering midfielder came complete with the signing of Chelsea and ex-OGC Nice defencer Malang Sarr, months after joining the Blues, in a hat-trick of loan deals for Porto.
A hero for Marítimo over the weekend at the Estádio do Dragão, Nanu, after being linked with a switch to Sporting de Braga, was also snapped up by Porto for an undisclosed fee. The right-wing-back’s arrival sentenced the highly-rated Tomás Esteves to a loan deal with Championship side Reading, holding the option to make the deal for the 2019 UEFA Youth League champion permanent.
Cape Verdean striker Zé Luís was one of the final players to head for the exits after just a season with the northern outfit, making a €5-million comeback to Lokomotiv Moscow, meanwhile Yordan Osório also called time on his stint with the Blue & Whites by joining Parma on a permanent deal.
From Barça to Benfica
Jorge Jesus’ big wish going into the final day of the transfer window was the signing of a new centre-back for Benfica, following the eye-grabbing departure of Rubén Dias to Manchester City.
The Eagles hierarchy found their man in Barcelona hot-prospect Jean-Clair Todibo, who had attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs before securing himself a move to the Estádio da Luz on loan, with a view to a permanent deal worth €20 million.
A product of the Toulouse academy, Todibo joined Barcelona as one for the future at the beginning of 2019 before failing to grab the eye at the Camp Nou, joining Schalke on loan a year later instead.
The 20-year-old was afforded just eight Bundesliga appearances for the cash-strapped Gelsenkirchen outfit, unable to land the pacey defender permanently, who'll now be hoping to get his career off the ground with the Eagles.
Benfica remained within Iberian territory to thrash out loan deals for the unfavoured Tomás Tavares and Jota, joining Alaves and Real Valladolid on loan, respectfully, meanwhile academy starlet Tiago Dantas made a shock move to European champions Bayern Munich, also on loan.
João Mário returns to Sporting
Across the capital, Sporting were rolling out the red carpet for ex-star João Mário, returning on loan from Internazionale after successive spells away from Italy at West Ham and Lokomotiv.
The versatile Portugal international looks a shoe-in to replace a Wendel-shaped hole created by the Brazilian's departure, leaving behind a €20 million transfer fee for the Lions to count after completing his switch to Zenit St. Petersburg. Sporting completed their summer dealings with loan deals for forgotten men Idrissa Doumbia and Abdoulay Diaby, picked up by La Liga duo Huesca and Getafe.
Just the clear-out going into the final day for Braga, after resisting offers for Paulinho and Bruno Viana. The once-treasured Bruno Xadas was allowed to gather a taste of first-team football with Belgian side Mouscron on loan, complete with a minimal buy-option, whereas Diogo Viana, just a year into his time with the Arsenalistas, terminated his contract with the club.
Boavista busy, Coentrão back
Elsewhere, there was a busy afternoon for Boavista, securing a temporary switches for Bologna winger Musa Jawara and Lazio’s Jorge Silva, brother of ex-Porto wonderkid Fábio Silva, to shore up the defence.
FC Famalicão made moves to polish up their own backline, landing Diogo Queirós on a free transfer to go with the loan deals for Frosinone forward Marcello Trotta and Dyego Souza from Shenzhen FC, formerly at Benfica, last season.
Reinforcements at the back proved to be the trend among the rest of the Primeira Liga clan as Rio Ave welcomed back Fábio Coentrão on a free transfer, just over a year after the Portuguese veteran had called it a day with the Vilacondenses, meanwhile Pedro Alváro commences his first venture away from Benfica, joining Petit at Belenenses.
Vitória de Guimarães closed out their window with a move for Sporting midfielder Miguel Luís, departing on a free after falling out of favour under Rubén Amorim, with there also being good news to spare for Gil Vicente fans, agreeing a second year on loan for Parma winger Yves Baraye.
By Patrick Ribeiro