Andre Gomes has completed a permanent move to Valencia, signing from Benfica and agreeing to a five-year deal at the Spanish giants.
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Gomes spent last season on loan with the La Liga heavyweights, and impressed Nuno Espirito Santo enough for the Sao Tome-born coach to make his temporary stay permanent.
The 21-year-old managed 33 appearances in the Spanish top flight last season, scoring four goals and contributing one assist.
The Portugal international is a versatile operator, and while he thrives as a central midfielder, he also demonstrated his class for Los Che on the left-side of the park or as a more deep-lying operator.
He made his national-team debut in September 2014 having previously featured for the Portuguese youth teams at every level from U17 to U21 level.
The midfielder is a perfect blend of physical presence and technical prowess, and he will surely be a valuable asset for Valencia in the Champions League next season.
While Espirito Santo will be delighted at having secured his man, the transfer ends any hopes Louis van Gaal might have had of adding Santos to his squad.
The youngster might have been a good option for the heart of the park for United, an area the Dutch coach is believed to be keen to strengthen.
Michael Carrick will be 34 when the new season begins, and cannot be expected to have the same impact he has done for so long, while Daley Blind is often utilised in a wide role or as a full-back.
Another option for the midfield, Angel Di Maria, has been linked with a move away from the club, which may further weaken van Gaal’s options here [Express].
As he seeks to strengthen, the United boss has been linked with the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin [Telegraph] and Joao Moutinho [Metro], although it remains to be seen who exactly he will make a formal approach for.
Santos, for his part, looks unlikely to regret missing out on a move to the EPL, and expressed delight at having secured a permanent deal with Valencia.
“I am very happy to belong completely to the Valencia CF family,” he began, speaking to the club’s official website.
“I have always been calm about things, because what I wanted was to continue here and it is what the club wanted as well. I can only thank the fans and my teammates for making me so happy.
“Now I hope to repay the confidence placed in me by playing good football and achieving good results.”