On Saturday, Brighton & Hove Albion pulled out of a club record deal to sign Renato Neto from Gent.
The 25-year old midfielder has made 95 appearances for Gent since joining in 2014, scoring 17 goals. Neto has a wealth of experience under his belt having played for Club Brugge and also for Sporting CP in Portugal for five years earlier in his career.
The Seagulls were first linked with the Brazilian midfielder early on Friday morning when Belgian journalist Kristoff Terreur tweeted that ” Renato Neto is on his way to Brighton. Clubs haven’t found an agreement as yet, but he’ll undergo a medical.”
After a series of developments since then, in came the unexpected news of the deal being called off.
The reason that Brighton pulled out of the deal was that the Brazilian midfielder had failed a medical, due to a knee problem. Many people would wonder still, even though he failed a medical, why Brighton completely pulled out of signing him. This would be down to the fact that the reported fee that was agreed was rumoured to be up to eight million euros and would have surpassed Albion’s current record signing in Matt Ryan from Valencia for £5.2 Million.
In my opinion, Neto would have been a great signing for The Seagulls, as he would have been a defensive shield in front of the back four, that The Albion have not has since Liam Bridcutt left the club. Neto also scores a lot of goals for a defensive midfielder, which is quite rare. Although he would have been a great signing, I think that Brighton were right to pull out of the deal as if you are spending up to eight million euros on a player, they have to be fit and ready to play and not be failing a medical.
Even though Neto will not be signing for The Seagulls, they are closing in on the signing of Mathias Normann, The Argus reported yesterday. The 21-year-old Norwegian midfielder will go straight into the development squad. Normann has already made appearances internationally for both Norway’s U17’s and U18’s and looks to be a good prospect for the future.
Brighton will also continue to scour Europe to find another midfielder and other players as with, British players being at a premium price it means Albion can get similar quality players from abroad for a lot less money. This is why Albion’s signings so far have been from Europe bar Josh Kerr from Celtic.
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