Benfica sign Álvaro Fernández, Porto’s David Carmo set to join Fran Navarro at Olympiacos

Benfica have moved to increase their options at the problem position of left-back, signing Spanish youngster Álvaro Fernández on loan from Manchester United.

The news from Porto concerns outgoing transfers, with Fran Navarro and David Carmo offloaded to Greek giants Olympiacos. 

Having brought in Marcos Leonardo at the start of the month, Portuguese champions Benfica have further boosted their squad by signing 20-year-old Álvaro Fernández Carreras, presenting the Spaniard using the name of Álvaro Carreras.

He joined United as a youth player but never played for the first team. He was loaned to Preston North End in the English second tier in 2022/23 and then La Liga outfit Granada this season, for whom he made 14 appearances.

Fernández joins on loan until the summer, with an option to make the deal permanent for €6 million, as Benfica continue to try and find an adequate replacement for Álex Grimaldo who left at the end of the last season.  

Porto housekeeping

Still limited by financial constraints, Porto have not dipped into the transfer market for reinforcements and have instead trimmed their squad by releasing Fran Navarro and David Carmo, who have not been part of the plans of coach Sérgio Conceição.

Greek giants Olympiacos, coached by Portuguese manager Carlos Carvalhal, have signed both players on loan with an option to make the deal permanent in the summer. Spanish striker Navarro scored on his debut for the Athens club at the weekend, and will leave definitively for a €7.5 million fee at the end of the season if the Greek club activate their option.

Carmo worked with Carvalhal at Braga and the coach will try and recuperate the former Portugal international, whose career has stalled since his big-money move to the Estádio do Dragão. 

Portelo joins Sporting

Primeira Liga leaders Sporting have so far been parsimonious in their January transfer activity. The Lions signed centre-back Rafael Portelo from Liga II club Leixões earlier in the month, the Brazilian making his debut in the Portuguese Cup victory against Tondela.