Posts Tagged ‘white hart lane’

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

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Benfica earned a narrow 1-0 win over French side Bordeaux in the first leg of their Europa League match-up on Thursday night.

The only goal of the match came in the 21st minute when Benfica forward Rodrigo struck a long range shot from just outside the box. The shot hit the post and then deflected off Bordeaux keeper Cédric Carrasso into the goal for the own goal.

The Águias were noticeably not at their best on the night, often assuming a defensive approach that frustrated fans at the Estádio da Luz. key players such as Lima, Enzo Perez and Eduardo Salvio started the match on the bench.

Midfield stalwart Nemanja Matic also missed the match because of a yellow card suspension. Manager Jorge Jesus fielded a 4-3-3 rotation with Nicolas Gaitan and Carlos Martins in central midfield and former Portugal U20 defender Roderick Miranda in defensive midfield.

Jesus said after the match that his club reached its primary objective which was not to concede a goal at home against their French opponents.

“We did not play as well offensively as we would have liked, because we were facing a good club that also wanted to push us off-balance, therefore we had to defend,” Jesus told journalists.

“We played an intelligent game. We have gained some experience playing over two-legs and we will go to France in better conditions to advance then when we started,” he added.

Benfica will face Bordeaux in the second leg on March 14th.

Elsewhere in Europa League action, Former FC Porto manager continues to build on his growing reputation. His Tottenham side earned an impressive 3-0 win against Italian giants Inter Milan.

Man of the moment Gareth Bale opened the scoring at White Hart Lane. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen also scored for Spurs.

A very excited Villas-Boas praised his club’s amazing form after the match.”It was a full 90-minute performance with excellent attacking football. We tried to limit their chances and had so many opportunities. It was a great European night.”

Former Sporting Lisbon Bruno Pereirinha started at right-back for Lazio and helped to set up the first goal in the Italian club’s 2-0 win over Stuttgart.

Raul Meireles’ Fenerbahçe side beat Czech side Viktoria Plzeň 1-0. Meireles did not play due to a red card suspension.

But the results were not all positive for the Portuguese contingent on Thursday night. Portuguese internationals Danny and Luis Neto played in Zenit St. Petersburg’s disappointing 2-0 loss to Swiss club Basel. Neto received a red card in added time.

André Villas-Boas

Former Porto and Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas proved many of the doubters wrong after his Tottenham-side earned a well deserved 1-1 draw against Manchester United.

American international Clint Dempsey scored well into injury time at White Hart Lane to earn a draw for Tottenham, but Villas-Boas’ side were clearly the better team throughout the match.

Villas-Boas was thrust into the spotlight in 2011 when Chelsea owner Roman Abramovitch hired the young Portuguese manager to lead his ageing club after a recording breaking year at Porto. Villas-Boas was not able to turn the club around and he was fired in March 2012.

But Chelsea was never a good place for any young manager to go. Fact is, given Villas-Boas lack of experience, a club like Tottenham was always going to be a better fit for him.

Villas-Boas took charge of a talented team that played poorly for Harry Redknapp in the second half of last season and fell out of a Champions League spot.

Upon arriving, Villas-Boas began putting his stamp on the London club. He let Croatian international midfielder Luka Modrić leave for Real Madrid with an incredibly elevated price of nearly 50 million Euros.

Modrić had been linked with moves to Chelsea and Real Madrid for almost two years. Many fans began to suspect that the rumours were beginning to take a toll on the club’s on-field performance.

With Modrić gone, Villas-Boas set out to sign Clint Dempsey, Emmanuel Adebayor, Jan Vertonghen, Gylfi Sigurðsson, and French international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. These players have contributed greatly to Tottenham’s revival.

They also narrowly missed out on Portuguese midfielder João Moutinho, who Villas-Boas is very familiar with from his time in charge of Porto. They are widely rumoured to be pursuing him during this month’s transfer window.

Villas-Boas’ decision to use Dempsey as a winger and sometimes midfielder has greatly paid off in terms of production. He has also managed to get the best out of English striker Jermaine Defoe after a few bad years under Redknapp.

Currently standing in 4th position, Tottenham still have a lot of work to do to remain in a Champions League position for next campaign. Signing Moutinho and perhaps a left-back would go a long way.

But, Sunday’s draw with United in a snowy afternoon in London proved to many that Tottenham and Villas-Boas for that matter are a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.