On 19 June 2020 a largely unknown 17-year-old made his debut for Sporting Clube de Portugal. Just 14 months later, Nuno Mendes has become a teammate of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar at PSG in a deal worth €50 million euros for the Lisbon club. He signs during international duty, where he is a teammate of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The phrase “meteoric rise” perhaps does not do full justice to describe such remarkable progress. 

It was common knowledge that Portuguese champions Sporting would have to make at least one substantial sale this summer, but as morning broke on deadline day, none of the club’s most saleable assets had left.

But hopes of keeping the nucleus of the team that led the Lions to their first Portuguese championship title for 19 years were extinguished late in the day as PSG’s offer proved too good to turn down.

Mendes leaves for a one-season loan fee of €7 million, with an option to buy of €40 million. Although the option is officially not obligatory, it is reported that the definitive transfer is guaranteed and has been structured as such only to get around UEFA’s financial fair play rules. The deal will be completed at the end of the season.

Additionally Sporting receive Spanish attacking midfield international Pablo Sarabia on a season-long loan, with PSG paying the entirety of his wages, reported to be €3 million net of tax.

To sum up, although the deal falls short of Nuno Mendes’ release clause of €70 million, Sporting have achieved one of their biggest ever windfalls, bettered only by the sale of Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United (€55 million + €25 million in add-ons).

The Lions made plans to cover a prospective Mendes sale at the start of the summer, agreeing to pay Wolves €10 million for 50% ownership of left-back Rúben Vinagre, who has played more games than Mendes this season (3 compared to 2) and looks up to the task.

But today the headlines are all about the outgoing teenager who is set for football superstardom. Sporting left a message of gratitude on their Twitter page, with the following message to Mendes: “You arrived here a boy. You leave a CHAMPION. Thank you for everything Nuno Mendes.”

 

by Tom Kundert 

 

Comments (6)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

PSG= disgusting oil money. I hope all those ego's implode and they get relegated.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

It's unfortunate. Sporting needs to continue relying on its academy. Doing so will lessen blows such as this one.
The Big Four transfer dealings ranked:
1. Braga
2. Porto
3. Sporting
4. Benfica

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I think it would have been better for Nuno Mendes had he gone to Man City instead. His fellow countrymen could have helped him alot in his development. You could say there is Danilo at PSG, but I bet the atmosphere at City would have been much...

I think it would have been better for Nuno Mendes had he gone to Man City instead. His fellow countrymen could have helped him alot in his development. You could say there is Danilo at PSG, but I bet the atmosphere at City would have been much better. Too many starpowers at PSG, so it's like he's a small fish in a big pond.

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He should have stayed at Sporting, Man City and PSG are the same garbage in different leagues. Mendes and other young stars, as well as the clubs, need to learn that leaving under the age of 20 will likely spell disaster for your development.

Sp...

He should have stayed at Sporting, Man City and PSG are the same garbage in different leagues. Mendes and other young stars, as well as the clubs, need to learn that leaving under the age of 20 will likely spell disaster for your development.

Sporting brought him up, supported him, and (I say this as a Porto supporter), should have kept him at least another 2-3 seasons.

This way, Sporting loses out on a much higher transfer fee, and the player will likely be riding the pine in favour of Bernat or a more experienced left-back.

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I also have concerns with PSG. 1) In the French league, they have no mandatory release clauses in their contracts. So if it isn't working there, it is entirely up to PSG to allow him to leave at whatever price. Of course in when there is a...

I also have concerns with PSG. 1) In the French league, they have no mandatory release clauses in their contracts. So if it isn't working there, it is entirely up to PSG to allow him to leave at whatever price. Of course in when there is a release clause, like in Spain, they are so high now, due to the Neymar buyout, that it may not matter anyway.

2) The Messi curse. It seems Portuguese players that play on Messi's team haven't done well at all. It could be just Barca, we will have to see.

As far as the other Oil Rich club, Pep is stacked with talent, so you have to sit and wait your turn. You have to have a cult like appreciation of the boss, or you will sit. Being behind Zinchenko(Ukraine's best player), Mendy(when healthy), Cancelo(when not needed at Right Back), puts you in a bad position to get major minutes. Also, it would have taken him a while to become a midfielder, because Pep wants his FB to go inside often and at as midfielders. Sure, Cancelo has become better at it, but it was sad in the beginning to watch him lost not knowing what to do.

The good thing at PSG, is they aren't stacked at Left Full Back. Diallo is good, but Nunes is better, that is why they brought him in.

So all in all, I think it was at minimum a year too soon. Especially with the WC coming up. At Sporting he would have had Champions league and also a league that is stronger than the French league. On a team his was thriving with.

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NM, great kid with great potential. I agree with everyone's comments. These young Portuguese players need to stay in Portugal for another 2-3 years before moving on. Leaving way too early. Examples are Joao Felix, Trincao, Renato Sanches...

NM, great kid with great potential. I agree with everyone's comments. These young Portuguese players need to stay in Portugal for another 2-3 years before moving on. Leaving way too early. Examples are Joao Felix, Trincao, Renato Sanches ... Many go to these big clubs and sit the bench or never get used properly. Go to teams where you are needed and will play. Look at what other players who are at the teams your going too and playing with. Who is going to take you under their wing? you parle francais?

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