For the past few weeks, Newcastle United have been linked with Ruben Semedo.
In the Portuguese media early last week there were claims that a deal had already been agreed between Newcastle and Sporting Lisbon for the central defender but these were rubbished last Thursday by the player’s agent, Catio Balde. The agent saying ‘Totally false – it’s a lie’, regarding the player supposedly having already decided to become a Newcastle player and the two clubs reaching agreement.
Then Friday morning saw Sky Sports report that their information was that Newcastle have made a concrete offer of £10m for Ruben Semedo – but Sporting have knocked back the offer and are holding out for £13m.
Tuesday has seen Semedo’s agent once again comment on the player’s future and indeed where he will be playing football this season…
Catio Balde talking to TSF:
“We are about to confirm the transfer of Ruben Semedo.
“I confirm that it is to Spain.
“We’re hoping to close the deal today (Tuesday).
“Ruben has been met with several possibilities and the club is going to meet what Sporting want.
“It was in Spain that we found the best option.
“Until this moment, I couldn’t confirm anything conclusively. He (Ruben Semedo) is on the right track.”
Following this interview, further reports claim that Villarreal is the club that Ruben Semedo has agreed to join, though no official confirmation yet. Villarreal finished fifth in La Liga this past season and will be playing Europa League football with the likes of Arsenal, Lazio and Lyon next season.
Media reports also claimed that a big sticking point for Newcastle was that Sporting Lisbon, as well as insisting on a sizeable fee, were also demanding that a large sell-on clause should also be included in any deal.
First choice for Sporting Lisbon this past season, Ruben Semedo has helped them to third place in the domestic league and he also turned out half a dozen times in the Champions League, playing against the likes of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.
Contracted to Sporting until 2022, the centre-back (can also play defensive midfield) has a 45m euros (approx £39m) buyout clause in his contract, though any deal with Villarreal – or anybody else – is sure to be for far less.
Apart from the actual size of the buyout clause, there is nothing surprising about it, as it is common practice for players on the continent to have these clauses inserted when committing long-term. Security for the club but also allowing players to move on if a club comes in who they want to relocate to AND who are willing to pay the buyout clause.
Considering he has only started 50 top division matches and has only so far played up to Under 21 level for Portugal, that 45m euros buyout clause is obviously unrealistic considering what he has achieved so far.
After only finishing third and 12 points behind champions Benfica, Sporting are said to be looking to sell in order to help bring in the players who could bridge that gap between themselves and Benfica (and Porto who finished six points ahead in second).