Posts Tagged ‘Rui Patricio’

CnKEAjDXEAAkm7A.jpg large

Portugal’s uncompromising style of play did not win them much admiration among neutral fans or the media but it was undoubtedly effective. Much credit should go to manager Fernando Santos who engineered a victory by utilizing the full strength of his squad. Football Factory rated each player on their performance over the entire tournament.

Goalkeepers

Rui Patricio He was not always busy but proved to be solid when called upon. He made a crucial stop in the penalty shootout against Poland. And he made several quality stops against France in the final. Named Best Goalkeeper at the tournament. Patricio is currently enjoying the best period of his career. 9

Eduardo Did not play.

Anthony Lopes Did not play.

 

Defenders

Raphael Guerreiro He was probably Portugal’s most consistent outfield player. The French-born Guerreiro provided the cross for Cristiano Ronaldo’s header against Wales. He was deservedly named to the team of the tournament. 8

Eliseu He filled in for Guerreiro against Hungary and Poland. The Benfica left-back looked much improved in his defensive duties, although he did not offer much in attack. 6

Pepe The Real Madrid man began the tournament with a poor display against Iceland and Hungary in the group stage. However, he was near flawless in the knockout stages.  A thigh injury kept him out of the semi-finals. But he returned in time to face France and put in a Man-of-the-Match performance for his country. Named to the Team of the Tournament. 8

Ricardo Carvalho The 38-year-old has been a solid contributor since returning to the international scene following Fernando Santos’ appointment. He looked slightly out of step especially in the 3-3 draw against Hungary. He was dropped in favour of Jose Fonte for the knockout stages. 6

Jose Fonte One of the great stories in this squad. The former Sporting CP academy graduate only made his international debut less than two years ago at the age of 30. He replaced Ricardo Carvalho against Croatia and was solid the rest of the way. 7

Bruno Alves He filled in admirably for the injured Pepe in the semi-final against Wales. 6

Cedric Soares Took over for Vieirinha against Croatia. His crucial mistake in the early stages against Poland led to the Robert Lewandowski goal. However, the Southampton right-back did not hang his head. Instead, he would be one of Portugal’s best performers the rest of the way. 7

Vieirinha The biggest disillusionment of this tournament for Portugal. He failed to provide sufficient cover on the Iceland goal in the first match. He was ineffective in attack and at times, a liability on defense. Santos rightly dropped him in favour of Cedric. 5

 

Midfielders

William Carvalho The holding midfielder replaced Danilo against Austria and put in an outstanding performance helping to drive the attack while supporting the Portuguese backline. Although he made less of an impact from then on, he still provided the stability the team needed. 7

Danilo Pereira The FC Porto midfielder suffered a back injury in the match against Iceland and lost his position in the starting XI to William.  Although, he would make a valuable contribution as a substitute. He filled in for the Sporting midfielder as a starter in the semi-final against Wales and even came close to scoring on one occasion. 6

Renato Sanches Named Best Young Player in the tournament. His long run in extra time against Croatia led to Quaresma’s goal. He scored the tying goal against Poland. Although, he was less of a factor against Wales and in the final. Still, he only added to his burgeoning reputation. It will be almost impossible to top the year he has had. 7

Andre Gomes He earned a starting spot against Iceland and put in an excellent display, creating the goal scored by Nani. But, his injury against Croatia would greatly limit him. He made a positive substitute appearance against Wales but did not appear in the final. 6

Adrien Silva The Sporting captain made his debut in the tournament against Croatia. He earned Fernando Santos’ confidence with some impressive performances on the way to the final. Unselfish, hardworking and tough, he embodies Portugal’s championship-winning side more than anyone. 7

João Moutinho A starter at the beginning of the tournament, the Monaco midfielder was not at his best in the group stage. He was forced to withdraw at half-time against Hungary due to an injury. However, he came in as a late substitute against Poland and provided a dangerous through-ball to Ronaldo, who could not capitalize. He made a major impact as a substitute in the final, helping to create the winning goal. 7

João Mário Much was expected of the Sporting midfielder at the beginning of the tournament. He was noticeably quiet against Iceland and was dropped in favour of Quaresma in the second match. Back as a starter against Hungary he provided an assist on Cristiano Ronaldo’s back-heel goal. His decision-making left much to be desired at times in the knockout stages but he was much better in the final. 7

 

Forwards

Cristiano Ronaldo The Portuguese captain was not always at his best in this tournament. He was a frustrated figure against Iceland and Austria but silenced his critics with a brace against Hungary. He was decisive again in the semi-final against Wales. His tournament seemed destined to end once again in tears when he was forced to withdraw in the final because of a knee injury. But, his teammates rallied around his absence and handed him that elusive championship at international level.  8

Nani The 29-year-old rebuilt his damaged reputation. He finished tied with the team-lead in goals with three and added an assist on Sanches’ goal against Poland. He did all that while playing out of position. His move to Spanish club Valencia was finalized during the tournament.  8

Ricardo Quaresma At 32, the journeyman winger looks to have finally come into his own on the international scene. He was generally ineffective in his only start of the tournament against Austria. However, he proved to be a valuable option off the bench, scoring a late goal against Croatia and then putting away the winning penalty in the shoot-out against Poland. 7

Rafa Silva He was originally expected to play a more prominent role. However, the Braga winger was limited to a short cameo in the late stages of the draw against Austria. He looked dangerous but was not able to break the deadlock. He is one for the future.  Incomplete

Éder Just weeks ago at pre-tournament friendlies the striker was whistled at by Portuguese fans every time he touched the ball. He made short substitute appearances against Iceland and Austria before the final. In a tournament of ample drama and great storylines for Portugal, it seems almost fitting that ‘the ugly duckling’ would score the most famous goal in the country’s history. 7

 

Manager

Fernando Santos He will never earn style points from the mainstream media but the 61-year-old found a way to win. By preaching unity and sacrifice above all, Santos got the most out of his players. He seemed to know how to make changes at the right time. Bringing on Sanches early in the second-half against Croatia and Éder in the final, seemed insane at the time but paid off enormously. 10

Advertisements
soccer-field1

2015-16 Team of the Season

Goalkeepers

It was an excellent year for goalkeepers. The nod in goal should go to Sporting and Portugal number one Rui Patricio who had his best season as a professional. Ederson (Benfica) and Gottardi (Arouca) certainly deserve some recognition in this category as well. A special acknowledgement should also go to youngsters Miguel Silva (Vitória Guimarães) and André Moreira (União da Madeira).

Defenders

At the centre-back position, Jardel and Victor Lindelöf helped propel Benfica to the title. It is an unlikely story. Jardel has never been the quickest or most technically-gifted, but has still managed to put together a solid career. Lindelöf began the season with the B squad. Injuries to Luisão and Lisandro Lopez allowed the Swede to establish himself. Together, they were the backbone of the championship-winning side. It is an obvious choice in the end.

At the full-back positions, Porto pair Miguel Layún and Maxi Pereira are the most deserving. Layún finished joint-leader in assists with 15. An amazing total especially for a full-back. He also pitched in five goals. While, Maxi did not miss a beat after making the sensational move to the Dragões. Ruben Semedo was also excellent for Vitoria de Setubal and parent-club Sporting. Marvin Zeegelaar was terrific for Rio Ave in the first-half of the season. And Benfica’s Nelson Semedo was excellent prior to his injury.

Midfielders

There are many good choices in midfield. Danilo Pereira seems like an obvious choice in the role of anchor. The Portuguese international was Porto’s most consistent performer this season. Portugal will have two excellent options in the ‘number 6’ position in France. William Carvalho missed the first several weeks due to a leg injury but eventually found his rhythm.

It would be a crime to overlook Renato Sanches. He only made his debut in late October but there is no denying that Benfica really began to hit their stride with the 18-year-old in his line-up. Despite suffering through injuries, Nicolas Gaitan still managed to lead the league in assists (alongside Layún). João Mário gets the slightest edge over Braga’s Rafa Silva. The Sporting midfielder took a major step forward in his career this season. His Sporting teammate Adrien was consistently good this season. Iuri Medeiros (Moreirense) and Diogo Jota (Paços de Ferreira) established themselves as players to watch.

Forwards

The obvious choices are Jonas and Islam Slimani. Jonas was dominant again this season leading the league in goals again with 32. He also added 14 assists. While Slimani managed to come second in goal with 27. Despite a relatively slow start, Kostas Mitroglou notched 20 goals for Benfica. Outside the “Big Three” Estoril’s Brazilian striker Leo Bonatini is one to watch scoring 17 goals this season. He should move on to a bigger club in the summer.

Bench

Ederson, Ruben Semedo, William, Adrien, Diogo Jota, Iuri Medeiros and Mitroglou.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Rui Patrício, Sporting Lisbon

The 26-year-old will go to Brazil as Portugal’s undisputed starting goalkeeper. He was first selected for the national squad in 2008 but became first-choice shortly after Paulo Bento became Portugal’s manager in 2011. He is primarily known for his strong aerial ability.

Patrício made a high-profile blunder in a World Cup qualifying match against Israel in October 2013, but bounced back in a positive way in the play-off matches against Sweden. This will be Patrício’s third major tournament after Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. He played in all of Portugal’s five matches during Euro 2012, helping A Seleção reach the semi-finals.

This Season: Rui Patricio was once-again solid in goal for Sporting Lisbon, helping them to a second place finish. He conceded only 20 goals in 30 matches, which included 15 clean sheets.

Fun Facts: Patrício was named Sporting Lisbon’s Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012. However, he was passed over this past year in favour of midfielder Adrien Silva.

Beto, FC Sevilla

The 32-year-old goalkeeper earned his position on Paulo Bento’s squad after an excellent season in La Liga. Originally part of Sporting Lisbon’s academy, Beto was never given a chance to start at the club. He has become known as a late bloomer. He bounced around several clubs in Portugal’s second division before helping Leixões to promotion in 2007.

In 2009, Beto moved on to FC Porto where he would see very little action except in Cup matches for the next few seasons. It was a loan move to Romanian club CFR Cluj that ignited his career. He won the Romanian League title in 2011-12 before moving back to Portugal with Sporting Braga. From there, FC Sevilla came calling and Beto is currently enjoying the best years of his career in his early 30s.

This Season: Beto helped FC Sevilla to a surprising fifth-place finish in La Liga, a season after losing both Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo to Manchester City. He has become known for making timely saves. Beto was excellent for Sevilla in their Europa League campaign, helping them win the title, beating former club FC Porto and Portuguese Champions Benfica along the way.

Fun Fact: Beto has won every major trophy at club level in Portugal. He won the Segunda Liga title with Leixões in 2006–07. At FC Porto, he won the Primeira Liga title in 2010-11, as well as the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira and Taça de Portugal twice. He is also credited with winning the Taça da Liga title with Braga in 2012-13, although he was on loan at Sevilla during the final.

Eduardo Carvalho, Genoa

The 31-year-old veteran goalkeeper was Portugal’s best player in South Africa in 2010, conceding only one goal in four matches. He enjoyed his best seasons with Sporting Braga between 2008 and 2010. Eduardo’s career dipped after he joined Serie A club Genoa. Since then, he has been loaned out to Benfica, İstanbul BB, and back to Braga this past season.

Eduardo lost his position as Portugal’s first-choice goalkeeper during qualification for Euro 2012. However, he had a good season this year with Braga and has earned a spot in Brazil. This will be Eduardo’s third major tournament representing Portugal.

This Season: Eduardo started 29 League matches for Sporting Braga and was solid overall, conceding only 35 goals along the way. However, the Minho club had a very disappointing season. They were eliminated in the qualification stage of the Europa League by Romanian side Pandurii Târgu Jiu. Braga also finished ninth in the League table, their worst finish since 2002-03.

Fun Fact: Eduardo was named the Portuguese League’s Breakthrough Player of the Year in 2007-08 while on-loan at Vitória Setúbal. He helped the club win the Taça da Liga and qualify for the UEFA Cup for the first time.

Rui Patricio Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Now that Portugal has qualified for next year’s World Cup in Brazil in spectacular fashion, the months of preparation and prognostication could officially begin.

Over the next few weeks Futebol Factory will be analyzing each position. Today, we begin with the last line of defence, the goalkeeper.

Sporting Lisbon’s Rui Patricio is firmly established as Portugal’s number one. The real competition appears to be for the final two spots on the squad.

Tickets Booked: Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon)

On The Bubble: Beto (Sevilla), Anthony Lopes (Lyon), Eduardo (Sporting Braga)

Despite some high-profile ‘frangos’ against Benfica and Israel in recent weeks, Rui Patricio remains Portugal’s best option in goal.

Apart from that, the situation becomes far more complicated. For most of the recent qualifying campaign, Paulo Bento has selected Patricio, Beto and Eduardo.

But Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was selected first as an injury replacement and eventually in place of Eduardo. He is now out of action after fracturing vertebrae in his back in early November.

The injury was not as serious as initially thought and the 23-year old could be back sometime in January. If he returns to the level he was at before it is possible that he could still be selected for Brazil.

Beto has been playing well at La Liga club Sevilla and looks to have the edge over Eduardo, who has had some early struggles for Braga.

Eduardo was once Portugal’s first-choice goalkeeper and the country’s best player in South Africa. But since moving to Genoa he has seen his quality decline. He has been loaned to Benfica, Turkish club İstanbul BB and now Braga.

Related Posts:

FEATURE: 7 Portuguese Players Who Could Break Out This Season, Part 2

FEATURE: 10 Portuguese Players Who Need To Improve Before The World Cup

TRANSFER WINDOW: Arsenal in Pursuit Of Rui Patricio

Nani At Euro 2012  Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Nani At Euro 2012 Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Cristiano Ronaldo’s inspirational performance in the two-legged playoffs against Sweden has confirmed Portugal’s place in next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

But after a poor qualifying campaign, many doubts remain over whether the Selecção could reach another semi-final.

Despite having one of the greatest players in history, it is the supporting cast that is most important to Portugal’s success. Cristiano Ronaldo will produce so long as the rest of the squad plays well around him.

That said, many established internationals who have formed the core of the Selecção in recent years have not performed to their potential, either at club level or with Portugal.

Here is a list of Portuguese players who need to improve before the World Cup.

Rui Patrício, Sporting Lisbon, Goalkeeper

Portugal’s number one goalkeeper since the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. Sporting Lisbon’s Rui Patricio is an excellent shot blocker and is very comfortable with the ball at his feet, usually. So far this season, however, Patricio has made some high-profile blunders.

The latest came in a Portuguese Cup match against league rivals Benfica, when Patricio let a lazy header slip in through his legs. But before that, in a crucial World Cup Qualifying match against Israel, Patricio’s careless pass lead to an equalizing goal. The match ended 1-1 and a win could have meant automatic qualification for Portugal.

But like any quality goalkeeper, Rui Patricio recovered with ease against Sweden. In the first leg in Lisbon he made a brilliant save in the first half to keep the match scoreless. In the second leg, he stopped Sebastian Larsson in close, just moments before Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal of the match. He also could not be blamed for the two Swedish goals. Unless his club form dips significantly, Patricio is likely to continue as Portugal’s first-choice and he needs to be solid.

João Pereira, Valencia, Right-Back

The Valencia right-back has battled injuries and struggled with his fitness so far this year. His form since the Euro 2012 has not been to the standard that many would expect either. Pereira, who only stands at 1,72m, has struggled against more physical teams like Sweden.

Benfica’s André Almeida filled in admirably for Pereira in Portugal’s final two qualifying matches, but it appears unlikely that Bento will drop Pereira any time soon. Almeida and Sporting Lisbon’s Cédric Soares are excellent options at right-back but they lack the experience of Pereira.

Miguel Veloso, Dynamo Kyiv, Defensive Midfielder

The former captain of Sporting Lisbon is a free-kick specialist who probably deserves to be on a bigger club than Dynamo Kyiv. He provided the perfect cross for Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal in Lisbon against Sweden. But the problem with Veloso is that he is not a real defensive midfielder.

The 27-year old has performed the role well but he is more naturally a midfield creator or number eight-type player. Paulo Bento uses him in defensive midfield because of the absence of a quality option in that position. Veloso lacks the tackling ability and physicality to be considered a ‘true’ defensive midfielder. However, Veloso finally has competition with the emergence of Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho.

Rúben Micael, Sporting Braga, Midfielder

The Sporting Braga midfielder has been consistently called-up to the Selecção during the Bento era, and was once first-choice. However, over the last year, Micael has not performed to a level that many would expect. Now, with the emergence of Josué, André Martins, Adrien Silva and others Micael could conceivably not be selected for the World Cup.

Sporting Braga have endured a difficult start to the season and Micael’s performances have reflected that. But there are many months before the final squad is chosen and Micael should receive some playing time in upcoming friendlies. At the highest stage, experience is important and that may just make the difference for Micael.

Raul Meireles, Fenerbahçe, Midfielder

The 30-year old midfielder has been the object of much criticism for his play since moving to Turkey a year ago. The former Porto and Liverpool midfielder has seen the offensive side of his game decline in that time. However, there is no doubt that he still brings a lot to the club.

Meireles’ main attributes are his pace, tackling ability and strength in possession. Despite no longer creating many scoring opportunities, he has continued to produce in other ways for Portugal. Like Micael, his experience is very valuable in a major tournament. It was Meireles who scored both goals in Portugal’s 2-0 aggregate victory against Bosnia to reach the World Cup in 2010. Plus, he scored the first goal in Portugal’s 7-0 group stage victory over North Korea.

Nani, Manchester United, Winger

The great paradox of Portuguese football. On the one hand, Nani is an explosive forward who has the ability to take control of a game. However, he is also wasteful, inconsistent, injury-prone and tends to make poor decisions.

He had a good Euro 2012, helping Portugal reach the semi-finals, but has since struggled to rediscover that form. He is also still trying to regain match fitness after a groin injury. However, he was given a new contract and a boost of confidence by Manchester United, raising hopes that maybe Nani will still reach the potential he demonstrated only a few years ago.

At 27-years of age, he is by no means running out of time. His career could unfold like that of Franck Ribéry, who for years struggled with injuries and inconsistency. But at this point, Nani could just as easily become the next Ricardo Quaresma. Portugal needs him to be the former and now.

Pizzi, Espanyol (On Loan From Benfica), Winger

A supremely talented forward whose rights were purchased by Benfica this summer from Atlético Madrid. The 24-year old has been in disappointing form this season on loan at La Liga club Espanyol after an impressive breakout season last year.

There does not seem to be any apparent reason why Pizzi has failed to adjust to life at the Spanish club. Manager Javier Aguirre has played him on the wings and down the middle with little success. Portugal is extremely deep on the wings and Pizzi’s spot in Brazil is in serious doubt unless he begins to produce again.

Éder, Sporting Braga, Striker

Portugal’s great hope at the centre-forward position. Éder has quick feet, is good in the air, and has excellent intelligence. He scored 13 goals in 18 League matches last year before suffering a major knee injury in a League Cup match against Benfica in March.

After missing 6 months, Éder has returned to game action in good form although he does not have much in the way of goals so far. For Éder it is important that Sporting Braga overcomes the difficulties of this early season. With Hélder Postiga ageing, Éder could conceivably be Portugal’s first-choice striker by the beginning of the World Cup.

Nélson Oliveira, Stade Rennais F.C (On Loan From Benfica), Striker

22-year old Nélson Oliveira has been impressive this season while on loan at French club Stade Rennais. He has scored seven goals in 12 league matches so far after scoring only four all of last season with Deportivo La Coruña as part of the ill-fated Portuguese experiment.

Manager Paulo Bento has shown some great faith in him, despite the difficulties often associated with a young striker. Although that patience may have run out, at least for now. In Portugal’s 1-1 draw against Israel, Oliveira drew the ire of many when he twice decided to make an attempt on goal when he should have passed the ball.

He was not called up to Bento’s squad for the two-leg playoff against Sweden. But with the centre-forward position being such a problem area for Portugal for some time now, Oliveira is likely to appear in upcoming friendlies. And he may use the recent setbacks as motivation.

Hugo Almeida, Beşiktaş J.K, Striker

The 29-year old striker has been a constant presence in the Portugal squad for several years now despite never really establishing himself in the starting XI. Almeida has never managed to replicate his club form with the Selecção. Currently he has only 17 goals in 52 matches for Portugal.

Almeida has become known for missing clear-cut opportunities while playing for Portugal. He did provided a perfect chip pass to Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal’s second goal in Stockholm to help Portugal qualify reminding everyone what he could do. And he does have the ability to link up well with his teammates something Helder Postiga’s game lacks.

But Postiga produces goals at a far more consistent level for Portugal despite the limitations of his game. With Nélson Oliveira and Éder emerging, Almeida needs to start producing.

Related Posts:

TRANSFER WINDOW: Pizzi And Sidnei Loaned To Espanyol

TRANSFER WINDOW: Benfica Striker Nélson Oliveira Officially Joins Rennes On One-Year Loan Deal

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

FEATURE: 5 Players That Could Help Portugal Beat Sweden And Reach Brazil 2014

PLAYER PROFILE: Portugal’s Striker of the Future Éder

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Fanny Schertzer

The Seleção continued their run of impressive form by beating Croatia 1-0 in an international friendly on Monday in Geneva. The win comes just days after Paulo Bento’s club defeated Russia in a crucial World Cup qualifying match.

Paulo Bento fielded a squad that was a mixture of regular starters and bench players. Although Fábio Coentrão, João Moutinho and Cristiano Ronaldo started the match. Eduardo received a rare start in goal over Rui Patricio.

The Seleção began the match brightly, creating several good chances in the opening half hour. In the 36th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo took control of the ball just outside the box and struck a good shot past Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subašić.

The goal was a well deserved one for Portugal’s captain after inspiring displays in back-to-back matches for the national team. Ronaldo was unlucky not to score another before half-time after a brilliantly executed header bounced off the crossbar and out.

With Ronaldo substituted at half-time, the second half saw a more balanced display from both teams, with good chances being rare on both sides. Croatia was unable to challenge Eduardo in any meaningful way and Portugal held on for the deserving victory.

FC Porto defender Sereno and Sporting Lisbon midfielder Andre Martins would receive their first international caps after coming on as second half substitutes. Portugal will go into the summer break with a renewed sense of confidence after several strong performances.

Paulo Bento looked noticeably pleased with his club’s performance after the final whistle and praised his club’s recent positive form to journalists after the match.

“That makes it three consecutive victories in different contexts: two official matches, with Azerbaijan and Russia, and today in a different context, which could be difficult sometimes especially in the last match of the campaign. But it was a good response from a group that demonstrated coesion and allowed me to use every player over the last two matches.”

“It was also the third straight game that we did not concede a goal. We did not allow many chances, despite there being a few moments in the first half. We faced a good team, but I think the outcome was very well deserved.”

Related Posts:

MATCH REVIEW: Portugal Rebound With A Deserving Win Against Azerbaijan

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

PORTUGAL: André Martins In Seleção Squad Ahead Of World Cup Qualifier Against Russia

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Julija Nowikowa

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Julija Nowikowa

João Moutinho, Midfielder
Possible Destinations: Tottenham, PSG, Chelsea, AS Monaco
Transfer Markt.com Value: 26 Million Euros

Moutinho has been the engine of the Porto attack since joining the club in 2010. Now that it looks like Porto will win yet another national title, it seems ever more likely that Moutinho will move on to a bigger stage. It is just a matter of where. A potential move to Tottenham fell through in the last hours of the summer transfer window last year but since then several other clubs have been linked with the midfielder and the price has only gone up.

Recent reports indicate that PSG have made a serious attempt to sign the Portuguese international. AS Monaco and Chelsea and their plutocratic owners could just drive up the price for Moutinho as well. But White Hart Lane has always looked like the most logical choice for him. He would be reunited with former manager Andre Villas-Boas and many believe that his first choice is to play in the Premier League. But if Tottenham misses out on Champions League qualification, will that change matters?

Related Article: Four Possible Destinations For Porto’s João Moutinho

Nani, Right Winger
Possible Destinations: Real Madrid, Arsenal, Tottenham, Zenit St. Petersberg, AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan, AS Roma, PSG
Transfer Markt.com Value: 27 Million Euros

Nani has been part of a long drawn out saga this year at Old Trafford. He was again noticeably missing from Sir Alex Ferguson’s farewell match against Swansea on Sunday. At 26 years old, Nani has simply not fulfilled the potential many people expected of him when he arrived in 2007. Ferguson has recently stated that he believes that Nani will stay, but many feel that a fresh start could be good for his career.

The latest reports have him going to Serie A champions Juventus at a reduced price of £13 million. PSG reportedly had a recent bid rejected. Nani’s situation seems to depend on how much Manchester United is willing to accept for their underachieving winger. There is no denying Nani’s skill and if he does in fact choose to leave, there is no shortage of possible suitors.

Related Post: TRANSFER WINDOW: PSG Reportedly In Negotiations To Land Nani

Fábio Coentrão, Left Back
Possible Destinations: Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Juventus
Transfer Markt.com Value: 18 Million Euros

It was always going to be difficult to live up to his €30 million transfer to Real Madrid. Fans of Portugal and Benfica are very familiar with Coentrão terrific skill going forward at left-back. In his time at Real Madrid however, manager Jose Mourinho has decided instead to use him in a defensive role, which he has performed well. But Coentrão might not be part of Florentino Pérez plans going forward despite being one of the club’s best performers in the second half of the campaign.

Juventus has reportedly shown interest in the Portuguese international. It has also been speculated that Coentrão could be used as part of a transfer deal that will see Gareth Bale join Real Madrid. Chelsea and Arsenal are also said to be interested in Coentrão.

Related Post: TRANSFER WINDOW: Chelsea and Manchester City Reportedly Interested in Fabio Coentrão

Rui Patricio, Goalkeeper
Possible Destinations: Arsenal
Transfer Markt.com Value: 20 Million Euros

One of the few bright spots for Sporting Lisbon this season. At 25 years of age, Patricio is already a seasoned professional and one of the best overall goalkeepers in the world. Sporting’s financial troubles are well documented, and it might be the best time to offload their greatest asset. Media reports indicate that Sporting value Patricio as much as 20 Million Euros but it is very unlikely that any club will pay that much for a goalkeeper.

Arsenal have reportedly had their previous bid rejected. Regardless, Arsene Wenger is looking for a replacement for Wojciech Szczęsny who has fallen out of favour. With Ferguson gone, Manchester City and Chelsea underachieving, the new Fair Play rules coming into effect, Arsenal for the first time in years could just mount a serious title challenge in the years going forward. But to do that they need to spend money on top quality players, like Rui Patricio.

Related Post: TRANSFER WINDOW: Arsenal in Pursuit Of Rui Patricio

Manuel Fernandes, Central Midfielder
Possible Destinations: Tottenham, Norwich, West Ham
Transfer Markt.com Value: 14 Million Euros

The former Benfica prodigy moved to Turkey in 2011 after some disappointing spells at Portsmouth, Everton, and Valencia. Since then, he has been one of the best players in the Turkish League, reigniting hopes that Fernandes could finally fulfill the potential that many people predicted from him.

His current club Beşiktaş is currently going through financial difficulties and could be ready to let Fernandes go. His likeliest destination is the Premier League where West Ham, Norwich and others appear to be in pursuit of the 27-year-old. Fernandes has only one year left on his contract and he is expected to leave for at least 10 million Euros, a price that is not out of range for many Premier League clubs thanks to the new television deal.

Cédric Soares, Right Back
Possible Destinations: Schalke, Borussia Dortmund, Hannover, Dusseldorf, Borussia Monchengladbach, Norwich, Everton
Transfer Markt.com Value: 3 Million Euros

21-year-old Cédric Soares has established himself as one of the most promising young players at the right-back position. He played a major role in Portugal reaching the final of the 2011 U20 World Cup Tournament in Colombia. After playing regularly last season at Académica, he was given his chance with Sporting this year and has made the most of his playing time.

Born in Gelsenkirchen to Portuguese immigrant parents, Soares made it clear in a March 2013 interview with Goal.com that he would welcome a move to the Bundesliga. And there has been no shortage of interest from Germany, including giants Schalke who are based in Gelsenkirchen and Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund. Premier League clubs Norwich and Everton are also said to be interested.

Related Post: TRANSFER WINDOW: Cédric Soares Targeted By Several Clubs in England And Germany

Amido Baldé, Forward
Possible Destinations: Newcastle, Everton, Wigan, Marseille, Seville, Espanyol, Mallorca, Hamburg, Werder Bremen, Stuttgart, Chievo
Transfer Markt.com Value: 1,5 Million Euros

22-year-old Amido Baldé has been a major part of Vitória Guimarães’ surprising campaign this season. He was most recently named as the best young player in the Portuguese League for the month of April. Released by Sporting one year ago and signed by Vitória Guimarães, Baldé is likely to move abroad this summer for several million Euros.

His size at 1.93m, of course makes him very attractive to Premier League clubs who often stress the aerial game with their young centre-forwards. Newcastle have reportedly opened negotiations with his current club. But interest in Baldé is coming from La Liga, the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A, mainly from middle of the table clubs. Baldé’s rise over the last year has been surely one of the great stories of the Portuguese League season.

Related Post: TRANSFER WINDOW: Several Premier League Clubs Chase Vitória de Guimarães Striker Amido Baldé

Related Posts:

TRANSFER WINDOW: Portuguese Players Who Could Be On The Move in January 2013

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

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Ilja Chochłow

Sporting Lisbon and Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio may be on his way to Arsenal this summer. According to sources in England and Spain, Arsene Wenger is keen to sign the Portuguese international to a permanent deal.

Unconfirmed reports in Spain this week had Sporting rejecting a £8.4m (10 million Euros) bid for Patricio. Wenger is looking to replace Wojciech Szczęsny whose sometimes erratic displays this season has led him to being benched in recent matches in favour of Łukasz Fabiański.

It is also believed that Sporting are looking for a deal closer to the 15 million Euro range. Patricio has been one of the few bright spots for his Sporting Lisbon side this year. At 25-years-old, Patricio has received 21 caps internationally and is firmly established as Portugal’s first-choice goalkeeper.