Tuesday saw confirmation that Ruben Semedo was moving to La liga, not the Premier League and Newcastle United.
For the past few weeks, Newcastle United had been heavily linked with the Sporting Lisbon defender, with last Friday Sky Sports reporting that Newcastle had offered £10m but the Portuguese club had knocked it back and were looking for £13m. It was also claimed that Newcastle weren’t happy with Sporting’s insistence on a sizeable sell-on clause in any transfer that might be agreed.
Catio Balde (Semedo’s agent) then gave a surprise interview (see below) yesterday, where he announced that the defender definitely wasn’t going to Newcastle and instead was going to sign for a club in Spain.
Following the interview, it was widely reported that the club Ruben Semedo was joining, is Villarreal.
Sure enough, it was later confirmed that this was the defender’s destination and Portuguese newspaper Record caught up with Semedo last night as he prepared to fly out of Lisbon Airport, the Sporting player saying it was the ‘ambition of all players’ to play in La Liga.
“I leave with the feeling of gratitude, for all that Sporting have done for me, but also happy for this new path I have chosen.
“Villarreal is an interesting project, a great club as everyone knows and that is what I need right now.
“The ambition of all players is to participate in the Spanish league. I welcome this opportunity.
“Jorge Jesus and Bruno de Carvalho (Sporting’s Manager & President), we have not yet had the opportunity to speak, we are sure to do it, I have always felt the support in Sporting, I never doubted it, I always felt at home.
“The transfer is an important leap, as it was to have entered the main team of Sporting. I want to have continuity.”
The Portuguese newspaper also revealed details of the deal, saying the player was signing a five year contract and the transfer fee was 14m euros (just over £12.2m).
Whether it was a dream of playing in Spain or Newcastle not agreeing to what Sporting Lisbon were wanting, it does appear that this was one player who Rafa Benitez did want, with credible people such as George Caulkin of The Times reporting Rafa’s definite interest, as well as all of the other ongoing media coverage.
Disappointing that Newcastle haven’t managed to add another signing at this early stage but fingers crossed there will be plenty through the door before the players meet up for pre-season training on Monday 3 July.
Agent of Ruben Semedo, Catio Balde, talking to TSF – Tuesday 6 June:
“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.