James, Hulk, Falcao and Porto's biggest sales after Militao secures Real Madrid move

By Sports Desk March 14, 2019

Real Madrid agreed to pay Porto €50million for defender Eder Militao on Thursday, meaning the Brazil international is the latest in a long list of players to break through at the Dragao and bring in a hefty transfer fee.

A number of clubs around Europe have forged reputations for their ability to sign players on the cheap, develop their talents and sell them on for huge profits.

Benfica, Sevilla and Southampton have all drawn acclaim for such an approach, but it is difficult to argue against Porto being the masters.

Militao, 21, only arrived in August for an initial figure reported to be around €4m from Sao Paulo, and yet he will leave as their biggest ever sale.

Below, we examine the other entries in Porto's top 10 biggest outbound transfers…


James Rodriguez – Monaco, €45m

Plucked from the relative obscurity of Banfield in Argentina, James really made a name for himself at Porto, resulting in Monaco flexing their financial muscle and bringing him to Ligue 1, where he continued to excel. An impressive 2014 World Cup with Colombia saw Real Madrid come calling, but things never quite worked out at the Santiago Bernabeu, and he has been hit and miss during a two-season loan at Bayern Munich.


Hulk – Zenit, €40m

Renowned as much for his likeness to Lou Ferrigno – who depicted the title character in the Incredible Hulk TV series – as he is for his footballing ability, the powerful forward took the road less travelled when joining Porto from Japan's Tokyo Verde. His cannon of a left foot proved a fine addition in Portugal, as he won a host of titles including the 2010-11 Europa League. Zenit came calling in 2012, and he has since moved on to Shanghai SIPG, who made him one of the world's highest-paid players.

Radamel Falcao – Atletico Madrid, €40m

Although not exactly prolific previously at River Plate, Falcao took to European football impressively, scoring 41 goals in 51 Primeira Liga appearances before leaving for Atletico in 2011. In LaLiga he remained lethal, but a move to Monaco was followed by dire loan spells with Manchester United and Chelsea after a serious knee injury. He has since rediscovered his form in Ligue 1, scoring 51 times since the start of 2016-17.

Andre Silva – AC Milan, €38m

Portugal's next great attacking hope, Silva had just one full season – netting 16 league goals in that campaign – in Porto's first team before Milan paid €38m for him. He struggled badly in Serie A, however, scoring just twice in 24 league games and was subsequently loaned to Sevilla. With nine strikes from 25 LaLiga outings, it looks somewhat unlikely they will be triggering their €35m purchase option.

Jackson Martinez – Atletico Madrid, €37m

A harsh reminder that the grass is not always greener. Martinez's career nosedived after leaving Porto for Atletico in 2015, having scored 67 in 90 league games in Portugal. He was unable to adapt to life under Diego Simeone, like many other strikers, finding himself sold to Guangzhou Evergrande seven months later. Injuries ruined his time in China, but, back in Portugal again with Portimonense, he is showing signs of his old self in the Algarve.

Anderson – Manchester United, €32m 

Dubbed the ‘new Ronaldinho’ for his silky footwork and the fact he came through the same academy at Gremio, Anderson looked destined to have a marvellous career early on. A broken leg disrupted him at Porto, but that did not put United off and they parted with a whopping €32m to bring the 19-year-old to Old Trafford. He certainly had his moments and was a crowd favourite, but he was converted into a deep-lying midfielder and he struggled for consistency, often impressing in big games before looking sluggish against lesser opposition. Injuries and fitness problems have blighted his entire career and he now plays in the Turkish second tier. 

Danilo – Real Madrid, €31.5m 

Part of the revered Santos team that included Neymar, Ganso and Alex Sandro – among others – and won the 2011 Copa Libertadores, Danilo's reputation went from strength to strength at Porto, becoming a regular in the Brazil squad. He impressed so much in an attack-minded right-back role that Madrid made their move in 2015, though he never truly convinced there. Now at Manchester City, he is a dependable rotation option. 

Eliaquim Mangala – Manchester City, €30m 

During his three-year Porto spell, Mangala became one of Europe’s most sought-after centre-backs. City won the race to sign him, earning the Dragons a cool €30m, but he rarely looked the domineering presence he had been in Portugal once playing in the Premier League. A loan to Valencia failed to bring much of an improvement, as they finished 12th in LaLiga. He is expected to leave City – for whom he has not featured since January 2018 – at the end of the season.

Pepe – Real Madrid, €30m 

After impressing early in his career with Maritimo, Pepe became a key player at Porto and showed promise with his physicality, leadership and willingness to scrap. His first few years in Madrid were disrupted by injuries and doubts about his quality, but in the 2010-11 campaign he really established himself and never looked back, going on to win every major honour with Madrid – including three Champions League crowns – and becoming something of a club icon. Now 36, he is back at Porto having left financially troubled Besiktas in January.  

Related items

  • Juventus 2-3 Tottenham: Kane's stunning strike from halfway line seals ICC win Juventus 2-3 Tottenham: Kane's stunning strike from halfway line seals ICC win

    Harry Kane struck a sensational stoppage-time winner from the centre circle as Tottenham claimed an entertaining 3-2 International Champions Cup win over Juventus in Singapore on Sunday.

    Mauricio Pochettino's side, who won the competition last year, forged ahead in the 31st minute courtesy of Erik Lamela's close-range strike, but the Serie A champions stormed back thanks to goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Half-time substitute Lucas Moura pulled Spurs level in the 65th minute, though, before Kane beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny from just inside Juve's half deep in added time.

    Tottenham continue their preparations for the 2019-20 campaign against Manchester United in Shanghai on Thursday, while Juve face Serie A rivals Inter in Nanjing a day earlier.


  • The Bale Sales: Gareth's options as Zidane shows Real Madrid forward the door The Bale Sales: Gareth's options as Zidane shows Real Madrid forward the door

    Gareth Bale's days at Real Madrid appear to be numbered after head coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed the club are working on a transfer for the forward.

    Zidane was billed a "disgrace" by Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett, who has previously confirmed the coach and player have a fraught relationship, with the Frenchman seemingly not valuing Bale's ability despite his contribution to three consecutive Champions League titles.

    It was Bale's double that sealed Madrid's last European crown a year ago, a stunning overhead kick contributing to a 3-1 defeat of Liverpool in Kiev that proved Zidane's last match in charge - soon after he announced his shock resignation.

    But Zidane is back and seemingly set on selling Bale, so what are the options available to the Wales international now the Madrid coach has clearly signalled he has no place for him?



    The romantic option, a return to Tottenham would enable Bale to play first-team football and slot back into a club where he became a global superstar. Finances would surely scupper a permanent move although Spurs have smashed their club record to buy Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele and are reportedly considering doing so again to sign Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis. An initial loan has been mooted but Madrid would still likely have to cover a large portion of Bale's massive wages - how desperate are they to move him on? Bale would certainly improve Mauricio Pochettino's forward options and a front three of Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Bale looks incredibly strong on paper.


    Bale has long been linked with United, but their failure to qualify for the Champions League does not make them an attractive option for top-level players right now although they remain among the world's biggest clubs. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also indicated he is willing to put his faith in young players such as the talented teenager Mason Greenwood, who has impressed in pre-season to force his way into first-team contention at Old Trafford despite being just 17. Bale would be an upgrade on United's wing options but they seem to be going in a different direction with the arrivals of Dan James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka signalling a long-needed change in transfer policy. Madrid's reported interest in Paul Pogba could see Bale offered to United as part of a potential deal, though.


    If PSG lose Neymar - the club confirmed recently he wants to leave - they will have room for another elite talent and Bale might just fit the bill. Whether moving to what is essentially a one-team league due to PSG's financial firepower is attractive to the Welshman is unclear, but teaming up with a thrilling talent like Kylian Mbappe could be persuasive. PSG are also one of a very small number of teams who could pay Bale the wages he has become accustomed to earning in Madrid and he has plenty of experience of winning the Champions League, which remains PSG's goal.


    According to the bookmakers, Bale's most likely next destination is the Chinese Super League. Finances are again the key here, although CSL clubs have shown a reduced willingness over the last 12 months to pursue the most expensive players on the market due to a change in the league's regulations, which means they must pay considerable taxes on top of large transfer fees. Bale has been unable - or perhaps unwilling - to learn Spanish while in Madrid so it would be interesting to see how he would fare with the culture clash in China.


    Reports in Spain previously claimed Bale is happy to see out his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, which still has three years to run. It would be a tempting option given no other clubs are likely to match his pay packet, while the lack of stability in the dugout could play in his favour. Zidane was Madrid's third permanent head coach last term and failed to inspire any significant improvement in the latter weeks of the 2018-19 campaign. Although the Frenchman has considerable credit from his trio of consecutive Champions League titles, it is not impossible to see Madrid starting the season poorly and president Florentino Perez opting for yet another change of head coach. Another man in charge could see Bale as an asset so the 30-year-old may choose to stay put for now.

  • Rodrygo ready for central role after scoring on Real Madrid debut Rodrygo ready for central role after scoring on Real Madrid debut

    Zinedine Zidane intends to use Rodrgyo Goes in a central position at Real Madrid, the teenager revealed after marking his debut for the club with a goal on Sunday.

    Rodrygo was one of four Madrid debutants in the International Champions Cup defeat to Bayern Munich, along with Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy, and he scored a superb late free-kick as Zidane's men went down 3-1 in Houston.

    After the game, the former Santos forward was quoted by Marca as saying: "Zidane [Madrid's head coach] wants me to play more down the middle.

    "I am typically more used to operating on the wings, but that is what the coach wants. It's a position in which I am comfortable and enjoy."

    Still only 18, Rodrygo is unsure whether he will see regular action in his first season in Spain.

    "I am not sure whether I will be playing in the first team yet. It is up to Zidane and his staff to decide where best to utilise me," he added.

    Discussing his superb debut goal, Rodrygo said: "I always used to take free-kicks at Santos. That is why I asked to take it."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.