EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey
The son of West Ham chairman David Sullivan has played a critical role in brokering the signing of imminent new arrival Goncalo Cardoso, Football Insider can reveal.
Dave Sullivan jnr was among representatives of the Hammers sent to Portugal last year to strike up relationships with various clubs and agents.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that those relationships have been central to the club finalising the signing of Portugal Under-21 international Cardoso.
As revealed by Football Insider early today, the Londoners are putting the finishing touches to the capture of the centre-back after their £3million bid was accepted by Boavista.
It will bring to an end a pursuit that began with the networking mission last year of Sullivan jnr, who works for his billionaire father’s entire business empire rather than just West Ham.
The groundwork was laid as the club’s scouts kept close tabs on Cardoso and his performances for Portugal at age-group level as well as for Boavista, where he made his debut in October of last year.
West Ham are convinced that the 18-year-old has immense potential and he will immediately go into the club’s senior squad rather than their Under-23s set-up.
The Portugal Under-19 international is expected to be pegged with Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid as an alternative centre-back to first choice pair Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena, who are set to start Saturday’s Premier League opener against Manchester City.
Cardoso is in line to become the club’s fifth summer recruit after Sebastien Haller, attacking midfielder Pablo Fornals and goalkeepers Roberto and David Martin this summer.