As Crystal Palace are linked with a late summer swoop for former Tottenham Hotspur loanee Carlos Vinicius, it seems like an appropriate time to revisit what a man called Vieira said about the Benfica striker.
And, yes, we do mean former Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira not his near-namesake in the Selhurst Park dugout.
“I received an offer of €60 million for Vinicius and I didn’t sell,” the outspoken Vieira told Portuguese publication JN in June 2020.
“He is priced at €100 million (£85 million). If it wasn’t for the pandemic, Benfica would have sold two players for €100 million each.”
Much to the president’s chagrin, Benfica were forced to accept what Vieira would probably consider lowball offers for Vinicius and Ruben Dias last summer as covid left an indelible imprint on the transfer market.
Manchester City paid £65 million for Ruben Dias – a fee that looks a snip with a Premier League-winner’s medal and a PFA player of the year award taking pride and place on his Mancunian mantelpiece.
Tottenham, meanwhile, signed Vinicius on loan, complete with a £40 million option-to-buy clause.
However, after nine months warming the bench in north London – the Brazilian started just three league games with his opportunities coming instead against the likes of Marine and Ludogorets – Spurs understandably turned their nose up at a permanent deal.
Crystal Palace could offer Vinicius a fresh start
Record does suggest, however, Vinicius could be offered a fresh start at Crystal Palace.
And while the sample size was admittedly small, Vinicius showed enough during the odd Europa League outing to suggest he’d be an upgrade on Christian Benteke and the labouring Jean-Philippe Mateta. Vinicius is hard-working, physical and can sniff out a chance.
A tally of ten goals in 11 starts speaks for itself.
And although Vinicius has yet to smooth out those rough edges even at the age of 26 – he’d give an assistant referee’s flag-waving arm a good workout with those offside runs – it’s not hard to imagine an old-school penalty-box poacher thriving alongside Wilfried Zaha, Ebere Eze and set-piece specialist Michael Olise.
But how much would Benfica get for Vinicius these days? Certainly not €100 million. Probably not €40 million either.