FC Porto have signed Russian international midfielder Marat Izmailov from Liga rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal for an undisclosed fee, with the 30-year-old penning a two-and-a-half-year contract. Portugal right-back Miguel Lopes, 26, has moved in the opposite direction, agreeing a deal to keep him in Lisbon until 2018.
"Everybody knows that Porto are a great team with a big, strong structure," said Izmailov, who has scored twice in 35 matches for Russia. "Their results are better than those of any other Portuguese club. I have spent almost six years in this country and Porto have won the title practically every year. I hope to win trophies at Porto and to progress as a player and person."
Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa added: "Izmailov will strengthen our squad. Luckily, we have a strong team, but it's not just about 11 players. I think Marat will get a feel for our playing style and will appreciate our club spirit."
Izmailov won two Russian Premier League titles with FC Lokomotiv Moskva before joining Sporting – initially on loan – in 2007. He registered 13 goals in 81 Liga games for the Lions, who are currently 12th in the Portuguese table – having never finished lower than fifth. Three points adrift of SL Benfica at the top of the Liga, Porto meet Málaga CF in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Miguel Lopes appeared twice for the Dragons in the group stage but was limited to just two league outings this season.
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