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Valencia signs Portuguese defender Pereira from Sporting

Valencia have moved to strengthen their squad by completing the signing of full-back João Pereira from Sporting Lisbon for a fee of €3.7m.

“Sporting reached an agreement with Valencia for the transfer of Joao Pereira for a set fee of 3.7 million euros and a variable fee of 526,000 euros, depending on whether Valencia participates in the Champions League group phase or not,” Sporting wrote in a statement published by Portuguese regulator CMVM.

The 28-year-old defender took a break from Portugal’s UEFA EURO 2012 preparations in order to sign a three-year deal with the Liga side.

“I’m thrilled to have reached an agreement with a great club like Valencia and am happy in the knowledge that I am going to play in such a competitive and demanding league as the Spanish Liga,” said the defender, who made 61 league appearances and scored three goals after joining Sporting in January 2010.

A product of Benfica’s youth academy, Pereira joined Sporting in 2009. The right-sided player, who helped Sporting reach the UEFA Europa League semi-finals this season, has been capped 13 times by Portugal and aims to help Paulo Bento’s side negotiate their way through a tricky UEFA EURO 2012 section.

Valencia, who recently announced the arrival of coach Mauricio Pellegrino, will enter next season’s UEFA Champions League at the group stage after finishing the 2011/12 Liga campaign in third place.