After a confirmation from his agent this morning, it seems very likely that Ruben Semedo is joining a Spanish club. The Portuguese newspapers say it’s Villarreal, who outbid Newcastle United and Southampton in the fight for the defender.
We must recall that last week, O Jogo had claimed there was an outline agreement between Sporting and Newcastle for the player to move on a €14m transfer.
And it looks like it wasn’t just a made up story. Jornal de Notícias published an article on Tuesday which still said Newcastle have a deal for the defender, obviously because it was published before Semedo’s agent confirmed the transfer to Spain.
But their claims are backed up by a document they had access to. In a file dated on May 30th, Sporting football director André Geraldes signed an agreement between the clubs, which included a €14m transfer fee, a 20% share of a future sale and even an anti-rivals release clause.
Jornal de Notícias made some calls before writing the story. Sporting refused to comment on the matter and agent Cátio Baldé ruled out a move to Newcastle.
So even though Semedo may indeed be on his way to Spain, this is a reasonable proof that Newcastle were very close to signing him. The latest reports from Portugal say Villarreal are getting him for an extra €1m.
It’s all very strange, but Sporting are involved so that’s no great surprise.