Nottingham Forrest have confirmed the signing of Benfica duo Joao Carvalho and Diego Goncalves, with the latter coming to the City Ground for a club-record £13 million, according to Sky Sports.
Attacking midfielder Carvalho, 21, will sign a five-year contract and officially become a Forest player on July 1st, trumping the previous club-record of £6.2m previously held by Britt Assombalonga in 2014.
Goncalves, 21, plies his trade as a winger, and will join Aitor Karanka’s side on a season-long loan, also from July 1st, having the option to make the deal permanent next summer.
? It’s official!
#NFFC are delighted to announce that João Carvalho and Diogo Gonçalves have moved to The City Ground from @SLBenfica. Carvalho has joined for a club-record fee while Gonçalves has arrived on loan.
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) June 14, 2018
Their current business is very reminiscent of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ approach last season, bringing in Portuguese additions from the Primeira Liga, to bolster a charge for Premier League promotion next term. And it worked for Wolves, with the side strolling to automatic promotion as Champions last season.
The club already have a manager who has previous experience of leading a team to England’s top flight, in ex-Middlesbrough coach Aitor Karanka, and now quality reinforcements are top the agenda for the Nottinghamshire giants.
Strangely enough, another common link between the two clubs exists, with super-agent and Wolves advisor Jorge Mendes being critical in completing the double deal for both the Benfica forwards, as he represents them.
Forrest have offered the promise of first-team football in the Championship, with both Carvalho and Goncalves failing to nail down regular starting positions with Benfica last season, with Carvalho making as few as two league starts, while the latter was limited to just three.
The Portuguese U21 internationals were promoted from the youth academy last year, breaking into the first-team after displaying their considerable talent, but it wasn’t to be at the Estadio da Luz.
It remains to be seen whether replicating Wolves’ approach will work for Forest next term, but the club are looking in fine fettle this window, and are heavily tipped for promotion in 2019.