In the last few hours, São Paulo have confirmed the departure of young central defender Rodrigo Caio to Valencia for a fee of €12.5M, possibly rising to €16.5M based on performance related clauses.
The signing comes at a time when Valencia’s Nicolás Otamendi has been heavily linked with a move away from the club, gearing towards a move to Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United. The Argentine defender, who will be on show against Paraguay in Copa America on Saturday night, has been widely praised for his performances in La Liga, earning himself a place in many pundits’ Team of the Season.
Otamendi will be spending time with current United stars Marcos Rojo and Angel Di Maria in the Argentina training camp this month, which could play into Louis van Gaal’s hands if they can convince him to ask for a move from the Mestalla Stadium.
Caio will add to the youthful ranks of the Valencia defence, joining the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and José Gayà. The Brazilian’s playing time had been somewhat limited until recently, having been ruled out through injury for much of the campaign. Now Caio shall join Miranda, Douglas and Cicinho, among others, as defenders who have made the move from São Paulo to La Liga in recent times.
The former Brazil Under-20s centre-back has the potential to be a very good signing for Valencia, whether that will be as Otamendi’s replacement or his defensive partner remains to be seen.