The Portuguese league kicked off last weekend, which means English clubs scouts are finally back to work.

Rio Ave’s 1-0 win over Belenenses may not have received much attention from the international media, and that’s why it’s interesting to see Manchester City and West Ham representatives both present at the game.

Their targets aren’t mentioned in A Bola’s report, so we can only speculate who could have impressed the West Ham and Manchester City scouts.

Sporting loanee Francisco Geraldes was the Man of the Match after scoring the winner for Rio Ave, with Brazilian defender Marcelo being another one highlighted by A Bola. Belenenses midfielder Merlin Tandjigora was the only player from the away side who received praise from the Portuguese newspaper.

Embed from Getty Images

It’s quite curious to see scouts from Manchester City and West Ham at this game. Firstly because there weren’t players from these Portuguese clubs recently linked to them, and also because it seems early to have a specific target, unless their list of players to watch was renewed over the break.

Scouts from AC Milan, Atalanta, Montpellier, Celta de Vigo were also present at the match. Manchester United officials were there too, but as they almost scout every Portuguese league match, that isn’t news anymore.

Maybe Manchester City and West Ham have decided to shadow Old Trafford officials this Portuguese season, or perhaps there’s a man of interest at Rio Ave or Belenenses… things will become clearer as the season progresses.