Shoya Nakajima moves back to Portugal to join Porto

Shoya Nakajima has moved back to Portugal, after a short stint in Qatar with Al-Duhail who he joined for €35 million, which is the biggest transfer involving any Japanese player.

Portugal, to Qatar and back to Portugal again

Shoya Nakajima shot to prominence to European audiences during his two-season spell at the small Portuguese side based in the Algarve - Portimonense. His silky attacking play made him one of the standout players in Portugal, which brought a lot of big clubs to the Algarve to take a peek at him.

Wolves and Southampton were heavily linked with him from the Premier League, while Porto was linked to him in Portugal. Then out of nowhere, he suddenly is signing for Qatari side Al-Duhail. The signing was all a bit odd and left me wondering about the inspiration behind moving to Qatar in the first place. Was it down to how much he would get paid, was his agent jibbering in his ear about the pots of gold that could be had for the both of them?

Who can ever know, but what is known is that he didn't stick around in Qatar for long. He had only been in Qatar since February and now has moved back to Portugal, joining Porto on what sounds like a shady deal if the report in Kyodo News is correct. They claim that Porto has paid €12 million for a 50% stake in his rights? This sounds beyond shady to me.

Qatar used as a middle man

Could it be possible that clubs didn't want to pay what club or agent were asking for Nakajima, so his agent has moved him to Qatar, only to then shift him somewhere else relatively soon for less money, but player, agent and all clubs involved are getting what they wanted from the deal, apart from possibly Qatari side Al-Duhail who seem to have been used in all of this, that is unless they were in on the deal in the first place.

Clearly, this is just some mad theory by me, I could have hit the nail bang on the head, but I also could be far from the truth. The whole situation with Nakajima's transfers has struck me as quite odd in general. What was stopping him from just moving to Porto, to begin with? Especially if it was true they wanted him, as was reported at the time.

On the plus side, the sale of Nakajima from Portimonense has had a huge impact on their club. They claim that the Nakajima sale alone will keep them running for the next 10 years, which shows the disparity between the top and bottom clubs.

I believe we will see more of these middlemen shady deals, as clubs do all kinds of workarounds to get cheaper deals, players, beat financial fair play, or whatever their inspiration for them is, they will become a lot more common.

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