Zaragoza Coach Javier Aguirre had reportedly identified the Mexican midfielder as a target this summer in a bid to strengthen his team for 2011-12. Negotiations for the 21-year-old have been prolonged, having begun a month ago when sporting director Antonio Prieto first met Barcelona counterpart Andoni Zubizarreta.
As Prieto finalised the free transfers of B team players Edu Oriol and Abraham Minero in early June – unveiled to Zaragoza fans this week – a formal offer for dos Santos was placed, whilst Gabriel Milito’s availability was also discussed.
A deal for dos Santos is now agreed, with the player agreeing a four-year contract and the Aragonese set to pay Barca €1m, and allow the Blaugrana to insert a buy-back clause in a similar capacity to Real Madrid when they agreed to sell Juan Carlos to Aguirre’s team earlier this summer.
Dos Santos is an attacking midfielder with a high technical ability from set-pieces and shooting from distance. Pep Guardiola’s use of the Mexican in pre-season a year ago was interestingly as a defensive midfielder, suggesting a versatility to the player. He joins Oriol and Minero as B team graduates at La Romareda, and Real Madrid Castilla players David Mateos – on loan – and Juan Carlos.
Zaragoza are courting controversy with continued transfer activity, having entered administration in June with debts of €100m, and money owed to hundreds of companies and people, including football clubs who have yet to receive transfer fees for players Los Blanquillos bought in previous transfer windows.