The wizard of capital gains: Who is Luis Campos, Milan's Leonardo replacement and what does he offer

22 May at 13:15
Unless sensational turnarounds, Luis Campos will become AC Milan's new sporting director, replacing Leonardo, who is likely to leave at the end of the season. But who exactly is the Lille director and what can he bring to a club that is eager to return back to the pinnacle of European football?

The Portuguese director has very few rivals in the search for the new stars of world football. In France, first at Monaco and now at Lille, he has indeed created a double masterpiece with enormous capital gains generated for both clubs.

His biggest hit is Kylian Mbappe, discovered at a very young age and then sold to Paris Saint-Germain for a record 180 million euros. Among the most profitable deals there is also Fabinho, finalist of the Champions League with Liverpool, bought for 6 million and resold for 45 million to England.

Another example is Thomas Lemar, signed for 4 million euros and sold for 60 million to Atletico Madrid last summer. He also had his hand in the transfer of Anthony Martial to Manchester United for 80 million euros after picking him up from Lyon for just 5.

Not only generated capital gains but also results arrive with Campos. During his time at Monaco, the club won the Ligue 1 title in 2017 and reached the Champions League semifinal in the same year, with many players signed or discovered by him shining in that campaign.

Among the bets won by Campos, there is also Milan's Tiemoue Bakayoko, bought for 'only' 8 million euros by Rennes and sold to Chelsea for 45. But the latest jewel is Nicolas Pepe, signed for 8 million, with the asking price for this summer set for at least 80 million.

Campos speaks five languages, including Italian, and featured as a coach in Portugal without much success before starting a career as a consultant and director. Among other positions, he was also in Jose Mourinho's staff at Real Madrid during the time of the Special One at the Santiago Bernabeu.

In his work, the 55-year-old is fast and demanding. He requires a synthesis of up to ten lines for an annual archive of 3 thousand players from his collaborators. From there, however, comes the skimming from three to five names per role, mainly profiles between 16 and 23 years, and followed on average for about three seasons.

They are all catalogued with grades from 1 to 5, with specific destinations. The A1 are certain talents, A2 are those with team spirit, B1 have a strong potential and so on up to D.

All of them are then ordered in three price ranges: up to 3 million, between 3 and 6 million and beyond. His team is composed of a Portuguese, a Mexican, a Spanish and a Brazilian as well as two Frenchmen: the five exploration zones, including Italy, are divided and so as not to influence each other.

And when a player receives three positive reports, Campos always goes to observe him in person. A network that has led, so far, to a total capital gain of over 300 million euros in France.
Nikita Fesyukov

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