Though the summer transfer window hasn’t officially begun, clubs are already making moves to strengthen their squads ahead of next season. Somewhat unsurprisingly, there have already been a handful of notable moves involving Portuguese players. With the transfer window open in much of Europe until September 1, and with transfer rumors numerous and growing by the day, many more moves can be expected – especially if Portugal performs at the U-21 Euros later this month.
According to reports coming out of Portugal for some time, Paços Ferreira midfielder Sérgio Oliveira is set to return to Porto, after a two-season stay in Paços. With the Liga NOS season winding down (or winding up depending on your viewpoint), transfer rumors abound. Porto is at the heart of a lot of the transfer speculation, and the latest speculation is centered around Sergio Oliveira. Continue reading
With the January transfer window just more than half over, the deals are beginning to come faster and stronger. There is a lot of movement, mainly from Portuguese players abroad. Let’s take a look at the latest: Continue reading
Benfica B midfielder Rúben Pinto has joined Primeira Liga side Paços Ferreira on loan until the end of the season to fill the void left by Ruben Ribeiro, who has joined Gil Vicente on loan. Pinto played the first half of this season for Benfica’s B team, which competes in Portugal’s second tier, the Segunda Liga. A captain at Benfica B, Pinto will now get his first taste of top-flight soccer at Paços. Continue reading
SC Braga to AS Monaco
According to reports, Braga youth prospect Gil Dias has agreed to a January transfer to Ligue 1 outfit AS Monaco for a fee believed to be around 5 million euros. Earlier in the season, there were hints that a deal had already been agreed between the two clubs, and that Dias would spend the first half of the season in Portugal before moving to France in January. More recent reports suggest that that rumor may turn out to be true, with Dias set to join fellow countrymen Bernardo Silva, Joao Moutinho, and Ricardo Carvalho at Monaco soon. Continue reading
It was an interesting week in Portuguese Football with the Big 3 battling in the Champions League early and then their Liga matches culminating on the weekend. Definitely many a headline made by the Tres Grandes in the English press, so let’s round-up the week’s news. Continue reading
The Primeira Liga began last weekend, and with the transfer window still open, there is still plenty of news to report. Orlando Mac takes a look at the major headlines over the past week.
Luis Felipe’s Interview
Luis Felipe Vieira’s interview this week on BTV had many people talking, with Financial Crisis, Player Transfers, and Portuguese Players making up some of the talking points. Some Eagle fans were quite critical of the interview claiming they didn’t get honest answers from LFV, but the fact is that any CEO of any business will not outright tell you they failed, or that there is trouble at hand. That would lose them public confidence and in turn create a bigger crisis. So like any CEO Luis Felipe did some dancing around questions until he could get in the words he wanted. I thought overall he did a good job in breaking down the key areas of concern, and if you read between the lines a bit, as you have to do in these situations, everything is still headed in the right direction, for now.
Sporting Hold-out Trouble
You couldn’t escape the news on Sporting CP’s troubles with Rojo and Slimani both faced discipline from Sporting for trying to force a move away from the Avalade. I applaud Bruno de Carvalho for his efforts to not be held ransom over the two World Cup stars, but was disturbed by the constant press releases on their own site. It looked unprofessional at times with the he says, she says reports. Unfortunately this is still part of cleaning up Godinho’s mess at the club, but it really proved how 3rd party contracts can have a harsh effect on a club, at the most inopportune moments. Sporting was also reported to be filing a tampering complaint with FIFA against Manchester United over the Rojo fiasco.
On the topic of tampering it was also reported this week that Benfica could file a complaint with FIFA over Juventus’ attempt to lure Luisao, the Eagles captain, to Italy. Juventus is reported to have suggested to Luisao to have his contract terminated so he could join them on a free transfer. This really angered not only LFV but also the loyal fans of the club who took to twitter en masse to show their displeasure. Luisao is a long serving Benfica player with over 10 years of service, first signing with the club in 2003. Of anyone that could request a transfer he would be the one who through his service would merit a transfer request, but in a summer that Benfica loses Garay, Luisao’s move would decimate the back line. So I can’t see LFV allowing it to happen.
Nani Coming Home?
After the embarrassing start to the Rojo situation reports suggest that Sporting are trying to turn the tables and have requested that Nani be included in any deal for Rojo. As reported it would be on loan, but Manchester United would be covering most of Nani’s wage bills. This would be a great coup for BdC, and having Nani back in the Liga would be the delight of not only the Sporting fans, but would make for some great games for Liga fans in general.
All in all it was a very interesting week in the Portuguese Liga with many talking points, especially 17 year old wonder boy Neves who impressed with his maturity and positioning. All in all it was an impressive start to the season, keep it locked here to PortugalFutbol.net for your Portuguese Football fix, and follow us on twitter as we post links to late breaking news regularly.
With the transfer window to close shut in a little under a month and with managers looking to complete their squads as quickly as possible, there is no lack of transfer news. Here’s the latest:
Josue to leave Porto, but where to?
After spending only one season at Porto, Josue looks set to leave after it was revealed that he does not fit into Julien Lopetegui’s plans. A departure looks likely, with the midfielder not even present at the squad presentation. Porto are looking to sell the player, with a fee of 6 million euros reported to be their asking price. Lazio and Napoli are both said to be interested in the midfielder, but more recently, newly-promoted french side Metz are touted to be his destination.
Sunderland interested in Frederico Venancio
Following Vitoria Setubal’s 0-0 pre-season draw with Premier League team Sunderland, Frederico Venancio gained the praise of the English team’s coach. Gus Poyet said after the game that he was impressed with Venancio, who is entering his third full season in Setubal.
Newly-promoted La Liga side Deportivo are reportedly very interested in taking both Tiago Ilori and Ivan Cavaleiro on loan from Liverpool and Benfica, respectively. Ilori appears to be surplus to requirements at Liverpool this season, especially since the arrival of Croatian defender Dejan Lovren. Cavaleiro is also set to be loaned, with Pacos Ferreira, Academica, and Maritimo all interested in the winger’s services.
Following his release from Besiktas, Hugo Almeida is still without a club. The experienced Portuguese striker, who has found success in both Germany and Turkey, will surely find a club, but the question remains as to which one. Eintracht Frankfurt and Galatasaray have both been touted as possible destinations, and West Ham is the latest club to show interest in the striker.
Rayo Vallecano has taken Porto winger Lica on loan for the entire season after he was deemed to be surplus to requirements under new coach Julien Lopetegui. Much like Josue, Lica’s future at Porto looks increasingly dim, and it comes as little surprise that this loan was arranged.
Feirense to Braga
According to reports coming out of Portugal, Sporting Braga have signed Fabio Carvalho from Feirense. Carvalho, who is also known as Fabinho, will officially sign after he finishes his involvement with the Portugal U-20 side at the Toulon Tournament. Fabinho, whose primary position is attacking midfielder, managed 20 first team appearances and four goals this season, which was his debut season.
One can easily draw parallels between Fabinho’s first season and Braga’s signing from Feirense last season, Rafa. In his debut season for Feirense (2012-2013 season), Rafa played an even larger role than Fabinho did this season, appearing 41 times and scoring 10 goals from midfield. That’s not to say that Fabinho is less talented than Rafa. Numbers don’t always tell the truth. Braga will surely be hoping for another Rafa, who after just one season is already an established squad member at Braga, and was recently included in Paulo Bento’s 23 for the World Cup. All by the age of 21.
This could also signal Rafa’s departure from Braga. The midfielder’s impressive performances have caught the attention of clubs such as Southampton and Roma, both of whom were following Rafa very closely at one point or another in the season. One rumor that has persisted, and appears may turn true, is Benfica’s interest in Rafa. According to some sources, a deal is already in place; a deal that will not be announced until after the World Cup. So, Fabinho’s move to Braga can easily be assumed to be to fill the void that Rafa will leave once he departs.
Andre Gomes is arguably one of the most exciting Portuguese prospects in the game right now. Though not a regular for Benfica, Gomes is slowly establishing himself as a logical replacement for Nemanja Matic, who moved to Chelsea in January. Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has put a great deal of faith in Gomes, most notably starting him in a number of important matches this season, most recently (and notably) the Europa League final against Sevilla.
Andre Gomes was included in Portugal coach Paulo Bento’s 30-man preliminary World Cup squad when it was announced earlier this month. Many were left scratching their head at the prospect of an un-capped 20 year old making the team ahead of such players as Adrien Silva. But for those who watch Andre Gomes play, the decision was not that surprising. Naturally a holding midfielder, Gomes is capable of supplying his team with creativity, tough tackling, and a wide range of passing if need be. It’s a theme with midfielders who are coached by Jorge Jesus that they are extremely versatile. Midfielders such as Ruben Amorim, Enzo Perez, and Andre Almeida all had their playing style molded and changed by the Benfica coach, and Gomes is no different.
In January, it was announced that a third party, Meriton Capital Limited, bought 100% of Gomes’ rights from Benfica. Though he continued to play for Benfica for the remainder of the season, he was not actually owned by the team. As soon as the midfielder was purchased, rumors about his future began. Monaco, Liverpool, and Valencia were all touted as possible destinations, a great example of the esteem in which Gomes is kept. Some recent developments may answer the question of “where to?” for Gomes.
The owner of Meriton Capital Limited, Peter Lim, has recently purchased Spanish-based club Valencia. According to sources, Lim wants to bring Gomes to Spain next season, and as no money would have to change hands, the move would be simple. The midfielder has been quiet about his future at Benfica, simply stating that “I’m not really thinking about it.”