Several Portuguese players yet to have their club futures resolved
We're now deep into the transfer window - and several Portuguese players are yet to know their fate for the upcoming season.
Many of Portugal's World Cup players have been on the move this summer, but several internationals - including Pepe, Andre Silva, Goncalo Guedes and João Mario - are yet to have their future's sorted out and are still to discover where they will be playing this upcoming season.
In addition to the World Cup stars, João Felix, Benfica's 18-year old wonderkid, despite having yet to play a senior match for the Lisbon club, has been attracting interest from English Premier League side West Ham, who have undergone something of a revolution this window as they look to strengthen their squad in time for the upcoming season, although much progress is still required for a deal to even get close.
Pepe, who is now 35, has been linked with a move away from Besiktas over the last few weeks despite having only moved to the Turkish top-flight side last summer. However, with reports suggesting that Besiktas are trying to make some money in time for the upcoming season, a move for the veteran centreback is very much a possibility.
Indeed, reports from Turkey last week indicated that newly-promoted English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers were on the verge of signing the European Champion, although such a move is yet to materialise. However, with Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo in charge, and no fewer than 9 Portuguese players currently at the club, the rumour continues to circulate.
The ex-Real Madrid defender has also been a strong target of reigning Primeira Liga champions FC Porto, who are very keen to bring Pepe back to the club. However, wages have proved a stumbling block and could prevent any return for the centreback coming to fruition.
Further suggestion that Pepe could be on his way out of Besiktas came after he was left out of the Turkish club's squad for the Europe League second qualifying round match versus Torshavn, a match Besiktas ultimately won with ease, thrashing their opponent 8-0 over two legs.
However, with Besiktas' other experienced centreback, Domagoj Vida, who helped Croatia reach the 2018 World Cup final last month, also linked with a transfer away from the Turkish outfit in recent weeks, despite having only signed for the club last January, the future of Pepe could still lie with Besiktas.
The Portuguese striker, 22, endured a frustrating season at AC Milan last season, struggling for both game time and goals in equal measure, leaving his future with the Italian giants in serious doubt. What's more, with the recent addition of Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain to the club, there is further reason to think plans have been created to allow Silva to move on this window.
Silva came under strong criticism from fans across Europe for his poor record in his first season with the Milan club, having only scored two goals in just 24 league matches. While a poor record on paper, context is required to put his record into perspective, as such a statistic is broadly misleading.
Indeed, despite appearing in 24 league games last campaign, he played on average just 38 minutes per outing in the process, regularly used as a substitute in the closing periods of games, meaning that making a meaningful impact in the vast majority of the fixtures he was utilised in was naturally difficult.
With a move likely on the cards, his future is still difficult to pinpoint; being a Jorge Mendes clients, the predictable suggestion that a Wolves move is on the horizon has ultimately been thrown about, although such a move is, in reality, difficult to envisage.
Reports in Turkey have also suggested that a move to Galatasaray is on the cards, while there have also been indications that Mendes has tried to offload the striker at Lazio. In other words, his future is far from certain, and we should be in store for an interesting couple of weeks as his future is finally resolved.
Mario is another player who is yet to know his next career move. The Inter Milan midfielder, who was crucial in Portugal winning the European Championship two years ago, was out on loan at West Ham for half of last season and, while having a solid time at the London club, is unsure as to whether a return is on the table.
West Ham are reportedly keen to bring the 25-year old back to the club, while Mario is also very open to a return, although no such deal is yet in place. And, with the English transfer window ending next week, time is beginning to run out.
Inter Milan are thought to be open to the prospect of letting the Portuguese midfielder leave, while Leicester are another club that have been linked to his services in recent times.
Guedes' future should really be easily resolved; with Valencia incredibly keen to bring the Portuguese forward back to the club after a highly successful loan spell last season and PSG happy to let the 21-year old leave, it has been a transfer that has unnecessarily dragged on throughout the summer.
However, with PSG currently demanding a significant 60 million euro fee, out of the price range of most club's in Europe, Valencia are unable to capture the man they have been courting for the past few months, and are running out of time to come to an agreement with the French giants.
As time advances, however, and the transfer window draws to a close, PSG's demands will surely drop, and Valencia may still get their man in time for the upcoming season.