Arsenal spent more than a year scouting Fabio Vieira before agreeing a fee to sign him last week, despite the lack of media links to the midfielder.
It seemed like a whirlwind deal for Arsenal fans, with the supporters learning of the club’s interest in FC Porto’s Fabio Vieira just hours before reports that a fee had been agreed.
Less than a day later, Porto had announced that fee agreement, and the transfer should be announced imminently. Yet Arsenal have spent a lot longer working on this deal.
Fabrizio Romano reports for Caught Offside that Arsenal’s scouting department had been monitoring Vieira for more than a year before making their recent move.
In the end, it was Mikel Arteta’s opinion that drove the actual signing, as the manager is convinced the midfielder will be a key player both now and in the future.
As fans, we’re so used to knowing almost everything about a club’s transfer business long before anything happens. Take the Gabriel Jesus deal for example, still yet to go through after months of speculation.
But this Vieira deal is the proof that Arsenal can still do deals in the background, and scout players without their interest making the next morning’s headlines.
Vieira will sign a five-year deal in a transfer worth €35m (£29.9m), with €5m of potential add-ons (for appearances and Champions League qualification). He’s already in London, having arrived on Thursday night, before his medical on Friday morning.
The midfielder will earn €130,000 net per month, which is a gross weekly wage of roughly £46,000.
Vieira had somewhat of a breakthrough campaign with Porto this season, scoring seven goals and assisting 16 in 39 appearances (21 starts). That works out as a goal contribution every 87 minutes.
The Portugal u21 international also scored seven goals and assisted two in eight games for his national team’s youth side over the same period, after winning Player of the Tournament at the u21 Euros last summer.