Porto boss Julen Lopetegui signs five players from La Liga

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With Manchester City on the brink of signing Eliaquim Mangala for £32 million, Porto boss Julen Lopetegui has wasted no time in recruiting youthful talent from La Liga.

Lopetegui spent 11 seasons of his playing career in La Liga as a goalkeeper for Barcelona, Real Madrid, Logrones and Rayo Vallecano. In total, Lopetegui made 149 appearances in La Liga.

Following his retirement, Lopetegui managed Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid B, before managing the Spain U-19, U-20, U-21 teams. Lopetegui guided the Spanish youth teams to the 2012 European Under-19 Championship and the 2013 European Under-21 Championship.

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After spending nearly 30 years engrossed in Spanish football, Lopetegui was named as the new Porto manager on the 6th May 2014.

Unsurprisingly, Lopetegui has raided La Liga this summer, in order to strengthen a Porto side which finished 3rd in the Primeira Liga behind Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.

La Liga deals

First of all, Porto have signed "Miniesta" Óliver Torres on a season-long loan-deal from Atletico Madrid. The Primeira Liga will cater to Óliver's incredible passing ability and close control. Having worked with Lopetegui in the Spanish youth teams, "Miniesta" will be keen to displace highly-rated Colombian midfielder Juan Quintero.

Furthermore, Lopetegui has signed long-term Liverpool target Cristian Tello from Barcelona on a two-year loan-deal. Tello will be heading to Porto aiming to prove himself, by honing his craft in the Primeira Liga and Europa League. During the 2013/14 season, Tello made two starts and 22 substitute appearances for Barcelona.

Ultimately, the introduction of Luis Suarez has left Tello's position at Barcelona untenable. Undoubtedly, Suarez will be one of the stars of the show alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi, in a move that has left Alexis Sanchez unwanted, Pedro destined for the bench and Tello alienated.

Strength in numbers

Next, Lopetegui captured Real Madrid's central-defensive midfielder Casemiro on another one-year loan-deal. The 22-year-old Brazilian spent 18 months at Madrid, yet Porto have been given the option to buy him permanently if he manages to impress.

Arguably, Casemiro is destined to be the shield for all of the attacking-flair players Lopetegui has signed, following the departure of Fernando to Manchester City.

Casemiro told "Everyone has taught me a lot about the values of Real Madrid, which will go with me forever in my professional career and life in general."

Moreover, Lopetegui captured 26-year-old attacking-midfielder Adrián from Atletico Madrid for €11 million. Adrián left Atletico after failing to replicate the form he showed during the 2011/12 season. The Spaniard will be aiming to strike a deadly partnership with Colombian hitman Jackson Martínez.

Title contenders?

Finally, Porto signed Algerian starlet Yacine Brahimi from Granada for £5.1 million on a four-year-deal. Also, the club have placed a £40 million buy-out clause on the 24-year-old. Following Algeria's 4-2 win over South Korea at the World Cup, interest in Brahimi escalated, leading Porto to oust Spurs and Everton for his signature.

To conclude, Porto mean business this season, as Lopetegui will be gunning for a 28th Primeira Liga and a third Europa League as the manager of the most successful team in the history of Portuguese football.

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