Fabio Cardoso has completed his move to Rangers today as the Vitoria Setubal defender pens a 3 year deal at Ibrox.
Rangers had to pay a fee of £1.5million to secure the services of the young Portuguese centre-back, who will be expected to partner fellow countryman and former Porto, Zenit St Petersburg and Fenerbahce star Bruno Alves in the heart of the defence.
Cardoso jetted into Glasgow late on Sunday night alongside Benfica winger Dalcio Gomez and boss Pedro Caixinha. Dalcio was announced yesterday and Cardoso followed today after they were both put through their paces in a rigorous medical.
The defender, who only turned 23 in April, was touted for a move to Wolves in the English Championship under ex-Porto coach Nuno Esporito Santo, but Caixinha did enough to convince him his first adventure on British soil was to be in Glasgow, not Wolverhampton.
Cardoso is a highly-rated central defender who can cover in the full-back areas if required and has been tipped for big things by those that have watched him closely in his homeland.
Capped for Portugal in every age group from under-15 to under-20, Cardoso has played his whole career to date in Portugal and is another player, like Dalcio, to have featured for Benfica B.
Cardoso began his footballing life at hometown club Agueda before being snapped up by Benfica, where he spent four years in the youth academy at the Lisbon heavyweights. Come 2012, he was transferred to Benfica B and made his debut against Braga B in August of that year.
After two and a half seasons at Benfica B in the second tier, Pacos Ferreira secured Cardoso’s signature on a loan deal until the end of the 2015-2016 campaign. He was a regular in their defence as they narrowly missed out on a European spot by just one point, finishing seventh in Liga NOS.
His impressive performances drew the attention of Vitoria Setubal, who agreed to sign Cardoso and came to a contract agreement of four years with the player.
In his debut season and what is now his only season at the club, he made 27 appearances across all competitions as Setubal improved on their 15th place finish the year previous by coming 12th this time. Cardoso also played his part in his side going all the way to semi-final of the Portuguese League Cup, including a 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in the last eight.
Former Dundee United playmaker Ryan Gauld, on loan for most of the season at Setubal from Sporting, was recently quoted in the press as saying that Cardoso could be the perfect partner in central defence for Bruno Alves at Ibrox.