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Valencia swoop for Portuguese defender

Valencia have signed teenage Portuguese defender Ruben Vezo for 1.6 million euros, and also dismissed sporting director Braulio Vazquez.

Ruben Vezo in action for Vitoria Setubal.
Ruben Vezo in action for Vitoria Setubal.

Vezo, who is currently at Liga Sagres side Vitoria Setubal and is represented by Portuguese 'super agent' Jorge Mendes, will join Valencia during the January 2014 transfer window and reportedly have a 7.5 million euro release clause in his new deal.

The Portugal under-19 international is to replace Adil Rami, who left for AC Milan in October after falling out with both coach Miroslav Djukic and his former teammates at Mestalla.

Valencia confirmed the transfer was done in a club statement released on Monday afternoon.

“Valencia CF has reached an agreement with FC Vitoria Setubal of Portugal for the transfer of Ruben Vezo as of the Jan. 1, 2014,” the statement said. “The player, who has been in Valencia today detailing his future contract and passing his medical exam, will sign with Valencia CF.

"The Valencian team will own 100 percent of his rights however the Portuguese would obtain 25 percent of the income in the hypothetical case that the player is transferred in the future. Ruben Vezo will return to Portugal tomorrow and will be presented officially once he is fully incorporated into Valencia CF, in the meantime Ruben will remain at his current club, Vitoria FC.”

A few hours later came the news that 'Braulio' was to leave Mestalla after three turbulent years in the job where he worked alongside now-departed club figures including former coaches Unai Emery, Mauricio Pellegrino and Ernesto Valverde, as well as ex-club president Manuel Llorente.

Llorente's successor Amadeo Salvo had said as recently as late October that Braulio's job was safe, however rumours around Valencia that he was set to depart were confirmed in another club statement on Monday evening.

“Valencia CF Management Board has decided to dispense with the services of the team’s technical secretary coordinator: Mr. Braulio Vazquez,” the communication read. “The Valencia board wishes to thank Braulio Vazquez for the services that he has provided throughout his trajectory at Valencia Club de Futbol.”

Marca reported that the firing of Vazquez was part of a new policy by Valencia, which is around 400 million euros in debt, to use third-party investors to help sign players. Salvo made the final call from Qatar, where he was meeting with potential new sponsors or backers as he looks to raise the funds required to complete the club's half-built new stadium.

Former Argentina international Roberto Ayala, who partnered Djukic in the Valencia defence in early 2000s, could now return to Mestalla as the club's new sporting director.

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