A box-to-box midfielder, swashbuckling in his playing style, he would add the perfect amount of defensive fortitude and attacking verve to any team.
The naturalised Portuguese Brazilian seemed to be Manchester City bound on Deadline Day - he was even reported to be on a private jet flying into Manchester to sign with the club.
That never happened - and then he signed a new deal with the club.
This new deal reportedly contains a €30 million release clause - as Porto accept he is still likely to leave in the summer.
Everton, Liverpool, AC Milan and Juventus are also keen on the player - but the Manchester clubs seem most keen on the man they call ‘The Octopus’.
But yesterday saw him get into trouble with those infamous limbs of his - as he was sent off in the final stages of FC Porto’s Europa League win v Sevilla.
Porto won the game 1-0 with a goal from Eliaquim Mangala - but they will now travel to the Sanchez Pizjuan with their star midfielder unavailable after he received a second yellow card in the 90th minute for this challenge - his second booking in the space of a minute…
Whether Porto can contain the likes of Ivan Rakitic without ‘The Octopus’ clinging on to him remains to be seen.