With the news suggesting earlier in the week that the Iranian had made his desire of a switch to the Italian league known to the Proto hierarchy, football fans in Iran were hoping to see the prolific forward unveiled with a the Rossoneri kit on Thursday as the two clubs had reportedly agreed on a €15 million fee plus add-ons.
However, with one day left until Friday’s transfer deadline, all the efforts made by both parties to secure the deal ended to no avail after Milan walked away from negotiations for what is believed a disagreement on the agents’ fee.
“Negotiations between AC Milan and Porto have officially collapsed,” high-profile Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, late on Thursday, citing a Porto Canal report.
“Following a meeting between [Porto president] Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa and Mehdi Taremi on Thursday, it was decided that the Iranian striker will stay at Porto for the 2023/24 season,” the Portuguese TV channel’s website wrote of the player, who has bagged 80 goals and 49 assists in 151 appearances, helping the Dragons win five major domestic trophies, since joining the club in 2020.
Yet to get off the mark for the new campaign, Taremi netted 22 strikes to finish as the leading marksman in the Portuguese top flight last season, while his five-goal contribution saw Porto win the Champions League group before being knocked out by Inter in the round of 16.
Having parted ways with key midfielder Otavio, who joined Saudi side Al Nassr last week, Porto manager Sergio Conceicao will be thrilled to have the Iranian talisman at his disposal for the newly-started campaign, despite the club facing the prospect of losing him for free when the 31-year-old’s contract ends next summer.
Beaten to the title by Benfica in May, Porto will be looking to lift a 16th league trophy, while fancying its chances of progressing beyond the group stage of the Champions League for a fifth time since the 2016/17 campaign.
Thursday’s draw pitted Porto against La Liga champion Barcelona, Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine, and Belgian side Royal Antwerp in Group H of the European elite clubs competition.
Iranian fans, meanwhile, will have to settle for watching another fellow countryman in Sardar Azmoun, who joined AS Roma from Leverkusen on a season-long loan deal, in Serie A this season, though the striker will face tough competition from newly-signed Belgian Romelu Lukaku, as well as Andrea Belotti, Tammy Abraham, and Stephan El Shaarawy for a place in the starting XI.