Manchester City have strengthened their defence with the capture of Porto's Eliaquim Mangala.
City confirmed the long-awaited transfer on Monday via their official Twitter:
The new arrival revealed the likes of Fernando, Bacary Sagna and Samir Nasri were influential in convincing him to join the Premier League champions, per City's official website:
City is a top club in Europe. For me, it was an important step to leave Porto and join Manchester City in order to continue my progress. I want to win titles and I believe I can do this. I am ambitious and this is why I am here.
The fact that Fernando is here is better because I played with him at Porto but there is also other players that I know like Sagna, Clichy and Nasri.
Mike Keegan of the BBC and Andy Brassell of B/R UK provide details on the financials involved in bringing Mangala to Manchester:
Mangala fee is 40m euros. Contract is for five years. #mcfc— Mike Keegan (@mikekeeganbbc) August 11, 2014
Mangala done, and very expensive. Porto statement says they received €30.5m (£24.3m) just for their 57.67% of him http://t.co/eSruLSYauq— Andy Brassell (@andybrassell) August 11, 2014
As PortuGOAL.net's Tom Kundert posited, Portuguese football is witnessing a major talent drain this summer. Mangala is only the next in a long line of stars off to greener pastures:
Unbelievable talent left or in process of leaving Portugal this summer: Fernando, Garay, Siqueira, Horta, Rodrigo, Markovic, Mangala, Oblak.— Tom Kundert (@Portu_Goal) July 12, 2014
Defenders have often been an undervalued commodity in the transfer market, but between the £32 million City are paying for Mangala and the £50 million Paris Saint-Germain spent on David Luiz, that market inefficiency has evaporated:
Mangala fee alleged to be £32M. David Luiz went for £50M. Might have to rethink this whole "goalscoring has the biggest transfer premium"— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) July 12, 2014
Mangala is a natural centre-back, but he's also been deployed on the left for Porto, so he gives Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini a little tactical flexibility.
Centre-back was one of City's highest priorities this summer. Martin Demichelis had his fair share of mistakes at the back last term, Matija Nastasic ran into injury problems and Joleon Lescott left for West Brom on a free transfer.
Mangala might still be a bit raw in terms of talent, but he's skilled enough to step into the City back four by the opening week of the Premier League season.
The only real question left is how this will affect Manchester City in terms of UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules. They've already been sanctioned by the European football body for running afoul of FFP once before.
According to TransferLeague.co.uk, they've already committed a combined £18 million in transfer fees following the purchases of Fernando and Willy Caballero.
Following the exit of Jack Rodwell, City's finances should be in good order, and it is likely Mangala will signal the end of their spending.
Few can argue Mangala doesn't make Manchester City a better team, and after Sunday's 3-0 Community Shield horror show against Arsenal, he may find a direct route into the champions' lineup.