Former Chelsea and Milan target completes FC Porto signing

Igor Lichnovsky has agreed a deal with Porto, despite old interest from Premier League giants Chelsea.

The 20-year old Chilean has signed from Universidad de Chile, with whom he won two split-league Chilean titles, as well as the Copa Sudamericana, since making his debut in 2011. The central defender has also won 20 Under-20 caps, captaining his compatriots in both the 2013 South American Youth Championship and the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

His performances in these youth competitions piqued the interest of then-Chelsea head coach Roberto Di Matteo, as well as Italian giants AC Milan and Bayer Leverkusen.

However, with interest cooling off, the official Universidad de Chile website has revealed that Lichnovsky - who holds Austrian dual-nationality - has completed a transfer to FC Porto. A four-year deal has been agreed between club and player, and the youngster is set to join up with his new squad in the coming days.

The statement reveals that Porto highlighted the characteristics that the young defender showed in performances for the U, when tracking his progress.

Praised for his ability to read the game, Lichnovsky has become incredibly adept at stepping out of defence to win the ball before it reaches the attacking third, as well as powering through into midfield and acting as a classically styled libero.

If Lichnovsky follows in the footsteps of his new team mate Eliaquim Mangala, both his reputation and his value will increase rapidly in the coming seasons, with the French defender currently holding a £36.5 million release fee, having joined for roughly £6 million in 2011. Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have all expressed interest in signing the Frenchman, whose spell in Portugal has seen him become one of the most highly rated central defenders in world football.

Rather than the player being disappointed at being snubbed by a giant of English football, in a few years it could be Chelsea ruing their decision to not sign the highly rated starlet when they had the chance.

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