BENFICA TO UNVEIL SIMAO
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
On Friday, the Lisbon Eagles told Pierre van Hooijdonk that he was no longer needed at the Estadio da Luz and that by the start of pre-season training if he had not found a new club he would be playing in the reserves.
It was believed that the dumping of van Hooijdonk would see Benfica make a move for Galatasaray's Mario Jardel, although it seems the freeing up of the Dutchman's wages is more to afford Simao's own personal demands.
Now, Benfica believe they have captured Simao in a £9 million raid on the Camp Nou club in crisis.
Manuel Vilarinho, the Benfican supremo told Lisbon radio station TSF that the 21-year-old was due to sign a six-year deal.
Despite an abundance of talent, Simao has failed to settle in Spain and perhaps his most high-profile incident occurred when he was studded by Roberto Ayala, for which the rugged defender received a three-match ban.
Barca have strangely opted for a first refusal clause in his contract, in case Simao fulfills his promise.