DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 25: Dani Alves of Brazil and Fabio Coentrao of Portugal battle for the ball during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group G match between Portugal and Brazil at Durban Stadium on June 25, 2010 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Real Madrid Agree Fee For Benfica, Portugal Fullback Fabio Coentrao

Real Madrid have agreed on a fee with Benfica for left fullback and midfielder Fabio Coentrao. The player still has to pass a medical and agree to personal terms.

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Fabio Coentrao Acquisition Puzzling With Marcelo On Roster - Managing Madrid

Benfica have lost yet another huge talent in Fábio Coentrão, who's just departed the Estadio da Luz for the Santiago Bernabeu, with Real Madrid paying a reported fee of €30M for the pleasure. Coentrão represents the fourth major piece from Benfica's glorious 2009/10 run to be moved on, but with the amount of money coming in, you can see why the Primeira Liga club would acquiesce to the deal.

What's less obvious is why Madrid would bring him on board. As Gabe Lezra of SB Nation's (new!) Real Madrid blog, Managing Madrid, notes, Los Blancos already boast an immensely competent left back in Brazil's Marcelo, and Jose Mourinho will have to do some juggling to accommodate both in the lineup. This makes spending so much for Coentrão more than a little confusing:

I'm of two minds when it comes to this signing: one one hand, I feel like position battles are bad for team chemistry, especially when they're between young, talented players who both want playing time. It could end up being a disaster in the dressing room for los blancos.

At the same time, I feel like Mourinho wouldn't have pushed so hard for this signing if he didn't have a plan--whether that means figuring out how to play both of them at the same time (can Marcelo play on the right? Can we move Sergio Ramos to CB?), or letting them duke it out for supremacy in a controlled manner. I trust him to know how to deal with the players he wants.

And the real truth is that Coentrão is a very, very good player.

That's the long and short of it, really. Coentrão is an excellent player, and he makes the squad better - there's no doubt about that. Still, unless there's some sort of grand plan here, Madrid don't appear to be addressing their weaknesses in a particularly efficient or coherent way.

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Real Madrid Agree Fee For Benfica, Portugal Fullback Fabio Coentrao

Subject to clearing a medical and agreeing to personal terms, Benfica and Portuguese international left back and left midfielder Fabio Coentrao will be moving to Real Madrid after the two teams agreed to a transfer fee of 30 million Euros. Benfica announced the sale of the player to the stock exchange in Lisbon today. Coentrao has been the subject of various transfer rumors for over a year and his been linked to just about every one of the giant clubs in Europe, but it appears that Real Madrid was the first team to come in and meet Benfica's valuation.

Though Coentrao should fit Jose Mourinho's system and he certainly has the talent to play for Real Madrid, this is still a bit of a curious transfer. It's tough to imagine Coentrao displacing Marcelo or Angel di Maria in the early part of the season while both of those players are healthy, and 30 million Euros is quite a bit of money to pay for a backup, even if he is a great talent and he can backup two positions. 

Coentrao is the team's fifth signing of the season, joining Hamit Altintop, Nuri Sahin Jose Callejon, and Rafael Varane.

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