Jorge Mendes is the main man of the transfer market
Enzo Fernández becomes the latest name in a long list of eye-watering moves masterminded by Mendes - check them out.
Super-agent Jorge Mendes has once again broken the transfer market. This time he did it with a particular hat-trick which included the late deal for Chelsea, as they swooped in on Benfica’s World Cup winner, Enzo Fernández. The Argentine’s transfer to Chelsea is the most expensive in the Premier League, the biggest transfer of the season and, at €121 million, the most expensive midfielder in the history of football. It is yet another milestone achieved for the Gestifute super-agent.
Mendes has been a common denominator in mediating four of the major football operations over the last 15 years: Cristiano Ronaldo, João Félix, Darwin Núñez and the aforementioned Enzo Fernández. In 2009 Mendes made headlines as Cristiano’s representative, when he made the Portuguese forward the most expensive signing in history up to that point in time, with Real Madrid paying €96 million to Manchester United to get him. Without doubt, it now looks like a bargain for Los Blancos: 450 goals and 131 assists in 438 games that earned him four Champions Leagues, two LaLiga titles, two Copas del Rey, three Club World Cups, three European Super Cups and two Spanish Super Cups.
A decade after Cristiano’s move, Mendes again took one of his compatriots to Madrid, but this time not to be dressed in white. João Félix donned the red and white of Atlético de Madrid. The presence of Mendes was essential for the signing of João Félix for Atlético. The agent mediated the deal and the Madrid club paid €127 million for a player who was presented at the Prado Museum as “pure talent”. Alas, after three and a half years of tussles and unease with Simeone’s side, he has left on loan to Chelsea, but not before renewing for another year, until 2027, with Atlético.
The 2021/22 season brought Darwin Núñez to Benfica in style. The Uruguayan attacker bagged 34 goals and managed four assists in 41 games: numbers that caught the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs. Liverpool won the bid, paying up to €100 million (€75m fixed and €25m in variables, based on goal return) to secure the signature of the Uruguayan, making him the most expensive signing in their illustrious history. It was, again, a huge operation in which Mendes was involved, representing Núñez in the negotiations.
The hallmark of Mendes, either as an intermediary or as a representative, has been evident in four of the biggest transfers in European football history. The sum of all these moves is an eye-watering 444 million euros, or two Neymars.
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