André Silva’s turbulent loan spell with Sevilla appears set for an acrimonious end after the Portugal international striker was forced to deny claims from the Spanish club’s head coach Joaquin Caparros that he was dishonest about his fitness.
The futures of many Portuguese will be speculated upon over the coming weeks and months, and Seleção full-backs Nélson Semedo and João Cancelo have seen their names appear in recent newspaper reports, while goalkeeper Jose Sá has ended any doubts over his whereabouts next season by signing a permanent deal with Olympiakos in Greece.
The story of André Silva in Sevilla is a complicated one. Seven goals from his first 11 games in La Liga after his arrival on a season-long loan from Milan made the former Porto forward one of the early revelations of the campaign. Sevilla had inserted a €30m option to buy in the deal with the Italian side and Sporting Director Joaquín Caparros announced in November that the club would be making the deal permanent.
However, the latest statement made by Caparros, who is now Sevilla’s first-team coach, illustrated the problems Silva has endured since his bright start. The 23-year-old has not featured for the Andalusians for almost six weeks and has played just eight minutes since the international break in March.
"We are not stupid, André Silva will not play this weekend and it is a case to be talked about seriously,” Caparros said earlier this week. “Let's talk about a guy who did very well in the beginning but then disappeared, especially in the last two months. I ask Portugal, for football's sake, not to call him to the Nations League - it would be an insult to football.
"I think UEFA should investigate his medical reports. How would the Seville fans react, all the staff technician, managers and our president seeing him in the field with Portugal in June? Regardless of this, however, I believe that the opinion must count of the doctor of the club that pays his salary."
The strong words of the vastly experienced Caparros were inevitably put to Silva, who responded the following day. “I’m not simulating an injury, I have been receiving treatment,” the Portuguese told El Mundo Deportivo. “I have a clear conscience; I have wanted to play and the problem for me is that as time has passed the discomfort has worsened.
“Maybe this has not been handled in the best way and I should have taken a break in December to sort it, but Sevilla needed me and I wanted to play. About my future? I’m a Milan player.”
Related article: Where next for André Silva as Sevilla cool on Milan striker
Semedo, Cancelo in the news
Nélson Semedo may yet stay at Barcelona amid varying reports in Spain this week. Marca got the ball rolling on Tuesday when suggesting that the former Benfica right-back is keen to quit the club having grown frustrated at lack of playing time this season, during which he has rotated with Sergio Roberto to the extent Semedo has started half of Barca’s La Liga games this season.
The paper claimed Semedo, 25, has possible destinations in Italy and England for a €35m move, while the Spanish champions may be tempted to raise funds for summer arrivals. However, if Marca’s story appeared to represent the player’s intentions, there was quickly a counter-report from local publication El Mundo Deportivo. Citing club sources, the paper insists the Camp Nou outfit have no intention of negotiating Semedo’s departure and see him as an important player for next season.
In Italy, João Cancelo’s future with Juventus has been called into question. Reports in Turin indicate Cancelo’s future could depend on whether coach Massimiliano Allegri stays at the club, with the Bianconeri boss believed to be unconvinced by the Portuguese’s defensive qualities and open to the idea of Paris Saint-Germain’s Thomas Meunier as a replacement.
José Sá to stay in Greece
Portuguese goalkeeper José Sá has signed a four-year contract with Greek giants Olympiakos after a successful loan spell with the club this season. The 26-year-old left FC Porto for Olympiakos last summer and has made himself a key part of Portuguese coach Pedro Martins’ side in the Greek Super League.
Local reports indicate Porto have been paid around €2.3m for the Portugal U23 international, who has been called up for the senior squad by Fernando Santos but is yet to make his debut for his country. Sá has made 31 appearances for Olympiakos in the 2018/19 campaign.
By Sean Gillen