Real Madrid continued their summer rebuilding yesterday with the signing of the Benfica left-back Fabio Coentrao.
The 23-year-old Portuguese international will sign, subject to a medical, for €30m (£27m), making him the second most expensive full-back ever, after Dani Alves.
Coentrao arrives as one of Europe's highest-rated young defenders. He was part of the Benfica side who won the Portuguese domestic double in 2009-10 and he impressed in last summer's World Cup. Coentrao will challenge Brazilian Marcelo for a place in Jose Mourinho's side next season. Marcelo may be a victim of Mourinho's desire to bring in a new generation of young players to the Bernabeu. Madrid have already signed 22-year-old Nuri Sahin this summer, the Turkish midfielder joining from Borussia Dortmund for €10m (£9m). Hamit Altintop has also signed on a free transfer from Bayern Munich. Last summer Madrid bought Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.
Last season Madrid finished second in La Liga and lost a Champions League semi-final to Barcelona and, despite winning the Copa del Rey, there is demand for more next season.