28 reasons to keep out of

Going to Portugal


Renato Sanches might be a bargain, considering how much he starred at Euro 2016.

Fifty years after making a splash in their debut tournament, Portugal ended their wait for international silverware when they lifted the 2016 European Championship trophy last month in Paris.

In 1966, a Eusebio-inspired Seleção reached the semifinals, on the back of which the mythical Number 9 was famously declared "national patrimony" by Portugal's then dictator, Antonio Salazar, and prohibited from leaving Benfica, much to the player's chagrin.

There are no such problems for today's crop of national heroes. Many of the summer's triumphant squad members have already secured lucrative moves, while frenzied speculation continues to surround the rest. If you want to sign a Euro 2016 winner, the message is clear: Be prepared to pay a huge fee.

Gone to new clubs

Renato Sanches: Benfica to Bayern Munich, €35 million, potentially rising to €80 million

The German giants left onlookers aghast at the sum they paid at the tail end of last season, but after Sanches' all-action displays at Euro 2016, it looks like good business for the box-to-box 18-year-old sensation.

Raphael Guerreiro: Lorient to Borussia Dortmund, €15 million

Another German club that intelligently made its move before the tournament inflated the price. The left-back completed his transfer just as Euro 2016 was gathering momentum, and his brilliant performances, defending diligently and attacking with verve, make it look like an absolute steal.

Andre Gomes: Valencia to Barcelona, €35 million, potentially rising to €55 million

Gomes didn't have the best of tournaments, as he struggled for match fitness much of the time. Despite playing in five of Portugal's seven matches, he never completed a full 90 minutes and didn't feature at all in the final. That didn't stop Barcelona from paying big bucks for the talented 23-year-old midfielder, whom many see as a long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta.

Nani: Fenerbahce to Valencia, €8.5 million

Nani rolled back the years at Euro 2016, reminding fans of his best years at Manchester United as he made an outstanding contribution to Portugal's triumph by playing as a striker rather than a winger. An ever-present throughout the tournament, Nani was the outfield player who clocked the most minutes for Portugal. In the process, he passed 100 caps for his country and scored three goals. He capped his rebirth with a move back to a high-profile league.

On the move?

Portugal's goalkeeper turned in a dominant tournament. Will he get the move of a lifetime?

Rui Patricio: Linked to Manchester City, Everton

Voted goalkeeper of the tournament, the Sporting Clube de Portugal No. 1 saw his reputation hit an all-time high with a near-faultless seven matches in France capped by a brilliant display of shot-stopping to deny hosts France in the final. With a wealth of experience at the Champions League and international level, including 52 caps for Portugal, he is now 28 years old, so it could be now or never for Patricio to sign the contract of his life.

Joao Mario: Linked to Inter Milan, Liverpool

After an exceptional club season, the 23-year-old midfielder enhanced his reputation at Euro 2016 despite not hitting his best form. Technically gifted, tactically disciplined and boasting a tireless work rate, Mario saved his best for last, as he put in a superb 120 minutes in the final at the Stade de France. In recent weeks, his father and his agent have been angling for a move or a big hike in his wages; should the right offer be forthcoming, Sporting will struggle to keep hold of their prized asset.

William Carvalho: Linked to Everton, Arsenal

The holding midfielder has long been linked to a move to England, with Arsenal said to be keeping close tabs on him for more than two years. Everton have now emerged as a very interested party in acquiring his services.

Depending on your point of view, Carvalho either provides a languid and composed presence in front of the defence or is too laid-back and slow for the rigours of the Premier League. One thing people do agree on is his superb range of passing.

Adrien Silva: Linked to Everton

Completing the quartet of Sporting players garnering much interest, club captain Adrien is reportedly a No. 1 target of Everton manager Ronald Koeman. The 27-year-old had the season of his life last year and carried his superb club form over by playing a key role in Portugal's Euro 2016 conquest as a starter in all the knockout-round matches. Used as a destroyer by Fernando Santos, Adrien has much more to his game: His aggressive streak is complemented by skillful feet, a sharp football brain and a thunderbolt of a shot.

Rafa Silva: Linked to FC Porto, Tottenham Hotspur

The speedy and versatile forward, who usually plays wide but can also operate effectively in the middle, got only the briefest of opportunities to show what he could do at Euro 2016, as he came on for the closing moments of Portugal's draw against Austria at the Parc des Princes.

FC Porto have been trying to prise him away from local rivals Braga for months, and he reportedly turned down an approach by Zenit St. Petersburg. Meanwhile, Spurs are the latest club rumoured to be keen on signing the free-scoring 23-year-old.



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