Wolves sign Nel­son Semedo from Barca, add to Por­tuguese con­nec­tion

Malta Independent - - Sport -

Wolver­hamp­ton demon­strated its new-found pull by sign­ing Por­tu­gal de­fender Nel­son Semedo from Barcelona in a deal worth up to 40 mil­lion eu­ros ($46 mil­lion) on Wed­nes­day.

The ar­rival of Semedo on a three-year deal in­creases the Por­tuguese con­nec­tion at Wolves, which also has Por­tu­gal in­ter­na­tion­als Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves and Rui Pa­tri­cio in the team and is coached by their com­pa­triot, Nuno Espir­ito Santo.

With Wolves pay­ing an ini­tial 30 mil­lion eu­ros, plus 10 mil­lion eu­ros in what Barcelona de­scribed as "vari­ables," Semedo could end up be­com­ing the club's record trans­fer — eclips­ing the $45 mil­lion spent on another Por­tuguese player, 18-year-old striker Fabio Silva, dur­ing the off­sea­son.

"It isn't of­ten that we have the op­por­tu­nity to sign a world-class player from a world-class club," Wolves ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Jeff Shi said. "Nel­son's sign­ing shows we will never stop pro­gress­ing."

The 26-year-old Semedo is a right wing back who has played 13 games for Por­tu­gal, the Euro­pean cham­pion, and 124 times for Barcelona af­ter join­ing from Ben­fica in 2017. He played 42 games for Barca last sea­son.

Semedo is a di­rect re­place­ment for Matt Do­herty, who was sold to Tot­ten­ham in the off­sea­son.

Soc­cer agent Jorge Men­des rep­re­sents Semedo and has been in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing in so many Por­tuguese play­ers to Wolves, with whom he en­joys a close re­la­tion­ship.

In 2015, Men­des agreed to sell a mi­nor­ity share of his firm to a sub­sidiary of Fo­sun In­ter­na­tional, the Chi­nese com­pany that has owned Wolves since July 2016. Two years ago, ri­val clubs com­plained about Men­des' in­flu­ence at Wolves.

Wolves re­turned to the Premier League in 2018 af­ter a six-year ab­sence and qual­i­fied for the Europa League at the end of the team's first sea­son back in the top di­vi­sion. Wolves reached the quar­ter­fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion be­fore los­ing to even­tual win­ner Sevilla, and also placed sev­enth in the Premier League last sea­son.

Hav­ing opened the new league sea­son with a win at Sh­effield United and a loss at home to Manch­ester City, Wolves' next game is on Sun­day away to West Ham — when Semedo could make his de­but.

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