Barcelona scoop Portuguese midfielder Gomes from Valencia
Barcelona, July 22 (IANS) Catalan football giants Barcelona have announced that young Portugal midfielder Andre Gomes will sign for them next week after reaching an agreement with La Liga rivals Valencia for a reported transfer fee of $55 million.
The 22-year-old starred for his country as they won the Euro 2016 title and has been a mainstay for Valencia for the past two seasons.
The attacking midfielder was wanted by reigning Serie A champions Juventus, Champions League holders Real Madrid and English heavyweights Manchester United and Manchester City and Inter Milan.
"FC Barcelona and Valencia CF have reached an agreement that will bring André Gomes to the Catalan capital. Gomes will formalise the deal and be officially presented as a new FC Barcelona player next week," Barcelona said in their website.
Gomes thus becomes the fourth reinforcement for Barcelona ahead of the 2016/17 season following the additions of Galician midfielder Denis Suarez and French defenders Samuel Umtiti from Lyon and Lucas Digne from Paris Saint-Germain.
Even though both the parties didn't give details on the transfer fee, Spanish media reported it to be around 50 million euros ($55 million). He may sign a five-year contract with the Spanish champions.
Born in Grijó, Portugal, Gomes came through the youth academies of both Porto and, later, Benfica. He debuted for Benfica's first team on July 28, 2012.
Gomes was shipped to Valencia on loan in the 2014/15 season. At Valencia, Gomes has played a total of 75 games and has scored eight goals.
Among Gomes's honours are Portuguese league, Cup and League Cup titles -- all with Benfica -- plus the Euro 2016 title that the Portugal national team conquered with a 1-0 extra time victory over hosts France on July 10.