Istanbul BB to Sporting
Sporting Lisbon announced their fifth signing of the off season yesterday with the presentation of Andre Geraldes from Istanbul BB. Sporting has been the most active Portuguese team in the current transfer window thus far, and the right-back is sure to not be the last signing. According to sources, Geraldes was signed to provide competition for Cedric Soares at the right-back position. The defender has joined on a 5-year deal for an undisclosed amount and a 45 million euro buyout clause, as is common with Portuguese teams.
Andre Geraldes began his career at Rio Ave, where he gained notoriety while on loan at Aves in the Portuguese second division. Though he never managed a first-team appearance for Rio Ave, he was transferred to Turkish first division side Istanbul BB, coached by fellow Portuguese Carlos Carvalhal. After 30 impressive appearances in his debut season for the Turkish club, Geraldes was loaned to struggling Liga Zon Sagres side Belenenses for the second half of this past season. 12 appearances later, his performances caught the attention of league runners-up Sporting Lisbon, who have promptly snapped him up on a 5-year deal.
This move raises more questions than it answers. Miguel Lopes, who is one of Sporting Lisbon’s top earners (and also a right-back) is returning from a season-long loan at French side Lyon. Though Lopes battled with injuries, he performed admirably when he was fit, establishing himself as an important first team player. It was announced that Lopes would join Sporting on their pre-season tour, which can be taken to mean that he could be staying with the club next season. If he indeed does stay, the team will have three very competent right-backs in Cedric, Geraldes, and Lopes. One will surely have to be loaned out or sold.
There have been very few transfer rumors surrounding Cedric, but his performances last season will surely have caught the attention of other clubs. Could he be the one who leaves? Or will Miguel Lopes depart once again on loan?