I'm quite certain there's far more to these things than it appears — like, say, extensive scouting and such — but we sure do seem to have a recent tendency to buy players who have impressed against us in random European or Premier League matches. I'm sure we do far more homework than that (even Djilobodji had been on our radar for something like a year at least), and maybe the good performances are just like a final test of sorts before we decide to pull the trigger. Either way, the likes of Victor Moses or Mohamed Salah or Willian (should we count Torres, too?) can all claim to have put Chelsea to the sword before getting their big money moves across the dugout divide.
While this has become a bit of a joke in the meantime, it looks like we're up to our old tricks once again, getting drawn into rumors involving two of Porto's stars from the midweek matchup a few days ago. In fairness, one of them had been tenuously linked before the match as well.
The repeat link is young midfielder Ruben Neves, who certainly didn't seem awed by the occasion, though was no doubt helped by being able to rely on the defensive solidity of Danilo Pereira behind him and the, at times Essien-esque, dominance of Giannelli Imbula beside him. (Hey, maybe we could use Ruben Loftus-Cheek in a similar setup!) Still, the 18-year-old Neves looks a player with a great future ... and already a great big buyout clause at £29m.
...the Portugal Under-21 international's performance against them has convinced the club that he is worthy of a bid, which will most likely come in the summer rather than the new year.
-source: Evening Standard
The Standard do claim that we're a bit "put off" by the price. I claim we should be saving it for Paul Pogba anyway.
But speaking of even higher prices, the other link is to none other than destroyer of worlds and Branislav Ivanovices, Yacine Brahimi, who just put pen to paper on a new contract with a tasty, if you're Porto, €60m buyout clause. Granted, this rumor is still just percolating on the pages of outlets like TuttoMercatoWeb, Metro, and Express, but I wouldn't be surprised if it graduated to the big time before long.
Brahimi had been linked with the likes of PSG and Arsenal before. The window of opportunity for the 25-year-old to make a big money move is primed and ready to go right now; it would not be surprising to see him end up joining his Algerian national team teammate Riyad Mahrez in the Premier League soon.