Archive for the ‘Transfer Window’ Category

Mexican Winger Jesus Corona Joins FC Porto

Mexican Winger Jesus Corona Joins FC Porto

Portuguese clubs were busy up to the final hours of this summer’s transfer window. The August 31st deadline marked the end of one of the most eventful transfer periods in recent memory.

FC Porto was the most active in the final days, signing Mexican pair Jesús Corona and Miguel Layún. The club signed Corona from Twente for €10,5 million and will possess 70% of his ownership rights. While, full-back Layún arrives on loan from Watford. He should bolster the club’s flanks after the departure of both Danilo and Alex Sandro.

Porto also loaned out Ricardo Pereira, Adrián López, Hernâni and Juan Quintero. Former Portuguese international Rolando moved to French giants Marseille on a permanent deal, finally ending a long standoff with the club.

Benfica made two low profile signings on Monday. Marvin Loría arrived on-loan from Deportivo Saprissa in Costa Rica. The deal includes an option to buy. They also signed defender Emir Azemovic from Partizan Belgrade. Both players are expected to remain with the B squad this season. The club also loaned Daniel Candeias to Ligue 2 club Metz.

But it was the deals they made on Tuesday that drew much attention. The transfer deadline was one day later in England than most of Europe and Benfica took advantage, sending two underachieving players on-loan to the Championship. Dutch Winger Ola John joined Reading FC and Nelson Oliveira moved to Nottingham Forest. For Oliveira, it is his sixth loan since 2009.

Sporting sold Chilean striker Diego Rubio to Spanish second division club Real Valladolid. Defender Ramy Rabia was also sold to Egyptian club Al-Ahly for €750,000. Wilson Eduardo, who has spent the last few seasons on loan, was allowed to join Braga. No terms have been released.

Braga and Belenenses bolster their line-ups

Outside of the ‘Big Three’, Braga made several good signings. Os Guerreiros do Minho signed highly rated Brazilian midfielder Filipe Augusto on-loan from Rio Ave. They also signed Spanish midfielder Aarón Ñíguez on a free transfer after he opted out of his contract with Elche.

And they made possibly the most surprising move of any Portuguese club in the final week, sending Pedro Tiba on loan to Real Valladolid. Tiba blamed Braga manager Paulo Fonseca for his loss of playing time.

“Why did I stop being a starter? Ask the manager! I came here [Valladolid] because I knew that I would not be as happy as I was last season. I was called up to three league matches and did not leave the bench. Am I ready to play? Of course I am,” he said.

The club also loaned Colombian forward Erik Moreno to Real Valladolid, along with Tiba. Tiago Gomes moved to Metz on a season-long loan as well. Brazilian defender Aderlan Santos was sold to Valencia. Braga announced that they made a handsome profit of €16,3 million from the transfer window, proving once again that the club is a model of fiscal management.

Lisbon-area club Belenenses qualified for the group stages of the Europa League last week. They significantly boosted their chances of advancing into the knockout stages by making two very cost-effective deals. They signed Cape-Verdan winger Kuca on loan from Karabükspor. He was excellent last season for Estoril. They also signed Luís Leal on a season-long loan from APOEL.

AS Monaco add Marcos Lopes and Fábio Coentrão

Leonardo Jardim continues to put his stamp on AS Monaco, signing Marcos Lopes and Fábio Coentrão. Coentrão arrives on loan from Real Madrid. The Portuguese international will be looking to revive his career after two injury-plagued seasons at the Bernabeu.

Marcos ‘Rony’ Lopes signed a five-year deal with Monaco. His departure from Manchester City caught many by surprise, even his own manager it seems. Just hours before the deal was announced Manuel Pellegrini told media that the 19-year-old would be loaned out this season.

Lopes famously scored just minutes after coming on in his senior debut with the club in a January 2013 League Cup match against Watford. It seemed that he was destined to be the first academy graduate to establish himself in the senior squad since the club was bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008. But it was not meant to be.

The deal seems to reflect a new reality in football. Rich clubs like Manchester City are under immense pressure to win championships every season and therefore, they do not have the time or patience to develop young footballers. Teams like City, Manchester United, Chelsea, and others are preferring instead to buy the finished product.

Still, it looks like it could be an excellent move for Marcos Lopes. He spent last season on loan at Lille and knows the French league well.

“Monaco is an excellent club for a player to develop. It is going to be a good challenge for me,” he said.

Monaco will be a club to watch for fans of the Portuguese game. Coentrão and Lopes join Bernardo Silva, Ivan Cavaleiro, Ricardo Carvalho, João Moutinho and Hélder Costa, to bring the total to seven Portuguese players.

In Spain, the club to watch is Valencia, which boasts three talented young Portuguese players in Ruben Vezo, Andre Gomes and João Cancelo. Not to mention Portuguese manager Nuno Espírito Santo. There are also strong Portuguese contingents at Real Madrid and Sevilla.

In two lesser known cases, English Championship side Sheffield Wednesday has a strong Portuguese presence as well. As does Ligue 2 club Metz, which recently added Daniel Candeias and Tiago Gomes.

Elsewhere, Portugal U21 defender Tiago Ilori was loaned by Liverpool to Premier League club Aston Villa. It will be his third loan spell since leaving Sporting in 2013. Undoubtedly talented but he has been terribly unlucky with injuries.

Seleção in action

Portugal will face Euro 2016 hosts France in a friendly on Friday in Lisbon before traveling to Albania for a qualifier next Monday. Fernando Santos will be without Moutinho, William Carvalho, Coentrão and Andre Gomes because of injuries.

According to reports, Santos has been practicing with a midfield trio of Danilo, Adrien and João Mário. The Portuguese manager is expected to drop the ‘false 9’ in favour of Éder as the striker, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani. French-born Adrien spoke about the match against France.

“France is a great squad but so is Portugal. I believe it will be a very close match. We need to control possession and take advantage of France’s weaknesses,” Adrien.

Portugal are in first-place in group I with three matches left. The Seleção lost to Albania 1-0 in their first Euro 2016 qualifying match last September. It would prove to be Paulo Bento’s last match in charge of Portugal. No doubt revenge will be on the mind of some of the players.

Rui Jorge’s new-look U21 squad will also face Albania in its first Euro 2017 qualifier on 8 September. It is the squad’s first match since the loss to Sweden on penalties in the final at the last European Championships earlier this summer. Gonçalo Paciência was forced to withdraw because of an ankle injury. Belenenses winger Fábio Sturgeon has taken his place on the squad.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Portuguese sports website Maisfutebol is reporting that Ricardo Quaresma will sign a two and a half-year deal with FC Porto. The contract could be finalized as early as this week.

The Portuguese winger rescinded his contract with Dubai-based club Al Ahli and is expected to return to the club where he had the best moments of his career. Quaresma would arrive as a free agent which means the club will not pay a transfer fee.

Maisfutebol is reporting that the 30-year-old was in Porto last week and has now settled into a house north of the city. Porto manager Paulo Fonseca is currently planning to integrate Quaresma into training, according to the same reports.

Supremely talented, but with a volatile personality, Ricardo Quaresma never really fulfilled the potential many people had of him when he burst onto the scene.

He is best known for his exceptional ability, in particular the famous ‘trivela,’ which consists of striking the ball with the outside of the foot with great voracity. Goalkeepers were unable to read which direction the ball would be going until it was often too late.

A product of Sporting Lisbon’s famed academy, Ricardo Quaresma dazzled fans in his early days with the club. In 2003, he received his first call-up to the Portuguese national team. His performances earned him a transfer to FC Barcelona that same year.

At this time, most people considered him a better prospect than even Cristiano Ronaldo, who is two years younger. Ronaldo would move to Manchester United in 2003 and the rest as they say is history.

At Barcelona, Quaresma did not have a particularly great season, and fell-out with then manager Frank Rijkaard. A sign of things to come. Refusing to play for the club any longer, Quaresma moved to FC Porto.

Between 2004-08, Quaresma enjoyed the best years of his career. He won three league titles with the club and was named the best player in the league in 2006.

In 2008 he moved to Serie A club Inter Milan, who were then coached by José Mourinho. He saw very little game action over his two years at the Italian club. Quaresma’s attitude is said to have been a problem. He played no role in Inter’s 2009-10 Champions League win.

Quaresma was released ahead of the 2010-11 season. He signed with Turkish club Beşiktaş where he put together some good performances the next two seasons. He was re-called to the Portuguese national team and was even selected for Euro 2012.

But his personality would once again be a problem. At Beşiktaş he clashed with Portuguese manager Carlos Carvalhal and eventually the club released him. He signed with Al Ahli in January 2013.

ngD8463C7B-2E34-4204-9E5E-280DF9214922

19-year old central defender Rúben Vezo will join La Liga giants Valencia in January, the Spanish club confirmed on Monday.

The Portuguese defender was in Spain on Monday to finalize the terms of a four-year deal that takes effect on January 1st, 2014 when the winter transfer window officially opens.

The transfer fee is believed to be around €1,5 million according to some sources although that was not confirmed by either club. Vezo’s current club Vitória Setúbal will receive 25 percent of a future sale of the player according to a news release on the Valencia club website.

The Setúbal-born Vezo is a product of the club’s youth academy. This is his first professional season with the senior side and he has not failed to impress, starting in eight league matches for the club. His performances have earned him a call-up to Portugal’s U19 squad.

Vezo was previously linked with a move to Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon according to national radio station Antena 1 but will be honing his craft at the Mestalla instead. He is believed to be a replacement for Adil Rami who is expected to join AC Milan on loan in January.

Vezo will be the fourth Portuguese national on the Spanish team, joining Hélder Postiga, João Pereira and Ricardo Costa.

WilliamCarvalho-27072013010

English newspaper The Daily Mirror is reporting that Manchester United are tracking the progress of Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.

The English club have had a difficult start to the season and could strengthen their midfield by signing the promising 21-year old. According to unconfirmed sources, the club owners have agreed to give manager David Moyes £50 million to spend in January in order to improve results.

Carvalho’s current club, Sporting Lisbon have not commented on the report. He signed an extension with the club in the summer that expires in June of 2018. The contract includes a release clause of €45million.

Angolan-born Carvalho is a product of Sporting Lisbon’s distinguished academy which has also produced Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo. After graduating to the senior side in 2011, he completed loan spells at Fátima and Cercle Brugge in Belgium, before earning a starting position over the summer at Sporting.

Carvalho has played in defensive midfield so far this season. Cercle Brugge’s sporting director Ivan van Damme told Portuguese online publication A Bola in July that he is technically gifted and compared him to Manchester City’s Yaya Touré.

“He made great progress playing here [Cercle Brugge]. He is very strong, could play in every position in midfield, highly skilled and very capable physically. He has great quality and I know he will do well at Sporting,” van Damme said.

“He has qualities that are very similar to Yaya Touré, but has one key advantage. He is very young and will only continue to get better.”

Carvalho’s manager at the Belgian club Foeke Booy has said that he has the potential to evolve into an excellent ‘box-to-box’ midfielder.

“He is a powerful box-to-box midfielder, a player with enormous personality. I thought at Cercle, he was a player who was capable of great heights and it is only natural that he is doing the same thing at Sporting Lisbon,” Booy told Portuguese website O Jogo this Summer.

Related Posts:

SCOUTING REPORT: Sporting Lisbon’s Emerging Star Midfielder William Carvalho

Hugo-Vieira

Sporting Braga continue to quietly strengthen their club after signing Portuguese attacker Hugo Vieira from Benfica.

The 25-year old signed a new four-year deal with the Minho club. Vieira was signed by Benfica last summer after an impressive season with Gil Vicente but never played a competitive match for Os Águias.

He was loaned to Spanish club Sporting Gijón last season who are currently playing in Spain’s second division. After only making four appearances for the club, he asked to terminate the loan and finish the season with his previous club Gil Vicente.

The Barcelos native did not disappoint upon his return scoring eight goals in 13 league matches the rest of the way, helping his hometown club avoid relegation.

In an official statement on Braga’s website, Vieira said that joining Os Arsenalistas was an easy decision.

“I am very happy to join SC Braga, as everyone is well aware, it is a big Portuguese club. I had other offers but I think joining this club was the best choice for me and I hope to experience many good moments in this sweater,” he said.

Related Posts:

LA Liga: Sporting Gijón Forward Hugo Vieira Wants to Return to Gil Vicente

181655_fejsa_f

Just days after midfielder Nemanja Matić expressed his willingness to leave Benfica, Os Encarnados announced the signing of fellow Serbian Ljubomir Fejsa from Greek club Olympiacos.

The 25-year-old signs a five-year deal with the Portuguese club and is widely expected to take over Matić’s position in defensive midfield.

Benfica’s newest signing was unveiled to the public on the club’s official television channel on Monday where he talked about how excited he was about joining the club.

“This is a big step in my career. I am very happy. I know that Benfica has fans around the world, it has been European champions twice and has won more than 30 championships. I play football because I want to win titles. I won three titles with Partizan, two with Olympiakos, and I do not see why I cannot do the same here,” he said on Benfica TV.

The Serbian was asked whether he would be happy to share playing time with countrymen Matić in case the former Chelsea player does not leave the club this month. Fejsa responded with: “The best case scenario would be that we could play together, in order to avoid any difficulty.”

Fejsa played with Olympiacos for two seasons after coming over from FK Partizan. Last year at the Greek club he found it difficult to gain playing time under then manager Leonardo Jardim, who is now managing Sporting Lisbon.

After Jardim was fired in February despite the club being in first place, Fejsa saw more action and finished with 15 total appearance in the Greek championship. He has received 13 caps with the Serbian national team.

funesmori

Jorge Jesus’ club have bolstered their attacking options with the signing of Argintinian striker Rogelio Funes Mori from River Plate.

Funes Mori will be under contract with the club for five years and it is believed that he could act as a long-term replacement for Oscar Cardozo.

So far the 22-year old is saying all the right things. He told media on Benfica TV on Monday that he turned down overtures from many big clubs, including arch rivals FC Porto to sign with Benfica.

“I had the opportunity to join FC Porto, as well as another Portuguese club, but I did not hesitate to choose Benfica, the biggest Portuguese club which is also well-known around the world,” he said.

“I am very happy to represent one of the big Portuguese clubs. My expectations are high, and I hope to give my all and win,” he said.

He also spoke about the club’s strong connections to Argentina and how that factored in him choosing to join Os Águias.

“I know that Enzo Pérez, Lisandro López, Salvio, Garay all play here. They are all very good players and that is why I am here. I do not know them personally but I hope to God that I could adjust quickly with my compatriots and give my all for the club.”

rolando-espere-aller-au-milan-ac

FC Porto defender Rolando will return to Italy this season after finalizing a one-year loan deal with Serie A giants Inter Milan, according to the Nerazzurri website.

The move reunites the 27-year old with former Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri who moved to San Siro this summer. Rolando played 7 matches for Napoli last season after joining the club on loan in January.

The deal is rumoured to include an option to sign Rolando to a permanent deal at the end of the campaign.

Rolando’s professional career began at Belenenses in 2004 before moving to FC Porto in 2008. He would eventually become an automatic starter under Jesualdo Ferreira.

In 2010-11 he had his best season under current Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas when the club won the Portuguese league title and the Europa League as well.

However, he did not fair very well under previous manager Vitor Pereira losing his starting position in the process.

Rolando was born in Cape Verde but has represented Portugal internationally, receiving 18 caps with the Seleção.

Related Posts:

TRANSFER MARKET: Napoli Offers 7 Million Euros for Porto Defender Rolando

TRANSFER WINDOW: Porto’s Rolando Signs With Napoli On Loan

Helder-Postiga-Portugal_2676791

Portuguese international striker Hélder Postiga has completed a transfer to La Liga giants Valencia from Real Zaragoza.

The deal comes only days after Spanish striker Roberto Soldado moved to Tottenham Hotspurs. The Spanish club will rely on the 31 year old Portuguese to score goals this season.

Postiga scored 14 goals in 37 matches last year for Zaragoza but it was not enough for the club to avoid relegation. He joins fellow Portuguese international Ricardo Costa and Joao Pereira at Mestalla this coming season.

Valencia are reported to have paid €3 million for Postiga. Real Zaragoza will also retain 20 percent of the player’s rights. They are also entitled to another €375,000 if Postiga scores more than 15 goals this season.

Postiga is a product of FC Porto’s youth academy. He has spells with Tottenham Hotspurs, Sporting Lisbon and others prior to joining Real Zaragoza in 2011.

He is currently tied for sixth all-time in career goals for Portuguese national team with 26.

Related Posts:

MATCH REVIEW: Portugal Earn Crucial Victory Over Russia In World Cup Qualifying

pizzi-sidney-30072013

Benfica fans will not get a chance to see one of Portugal’s best young talents play at the Estádio da Luz this season after all.

Winger Pizzi has been loaned to Barcelona-based club RCD Espanyol after completing a transfer to Benfica from La Liga’s Atlético Madrid. Brazilian central defender Sidnei will also be loaned to Espanyol this season.

According to the football website O Jogo, Espanyol is reported to have paid Benfica €1,5million for their one year of service.

The two players were officially unveiled to the Espanyol faithful on Tuesday at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat. The club’s sporting director Òscar Perarnau said at the news conference that, ‘Pizzi was a primary objective for the attack.’

Perarnau also revealed that the club was interested in the Portuguese winger when he was still under contract with Atlético Madrid.

Pizzi said that his primary objective was to have a successful season ahead of the 2014 World Cup. “I am going to try to improve on what I did at Deportivo, as well as help Espanyol reach its objectives.”

Pizzi has received one cap for Portugal so far, playing in a November 2012 friendly against Gabon. He established himself as one of the best young players in La Liga last season, scoring 8 goals and adding another 7 assists in 35 matches with now-relegated Deportivo La Coruña.

23-year old Sidnei has struggled to find playing time with Benfica over the last few years. He played most of last season with Benfica’s B squad in the second tier Liga de Honra.

Related Posts:

TRANSFER WINDOW: Pizzi Reportedly On His Way To Benfica

PORTUGAL: 7 Young Players That Could Help The Seleção Reach World Cup 2014

LA LIGA: Portuguese Trio Help Deportivo Crush Levante In Spanish League Action