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
Unattached to Cesena Continue reading
Besiktas to Lokomotiv Moscow (free transfer)
Manuel Fernandes is set to move again. After starting his career in Portugal, the midfielder has played in Spain, England, and Turkey. He can now add Russia to that list, after his transfer to Russian Premier League club Lokomotiv Moscow was announced today. The midfielder was without a club after his contract with Besiktas ran out, and the Russian team were the most enticing offer. Fernandes had also been heavily linked with a move back to Benfica, the club where he began his career, but the player instead opted to stay abroad.
A player whose talent is undoubted, Fernandes has struggled for form over the past few seasons. That, coupled with injuries, meant that Fernandes’ stock has fallen greatly in the past season. After starting his career brightly at Benfica and making his debut for the national team at 19 years old, Fernandes had two stints on loan in England, first with Portsmouth then at Everton. After returning from Everton, Fernandes moved again, this time permanently to Valencia for a fee of 18 million euros. After lukewarm performances and injury problems, Fernandes signed for Besiktas for a measly 2 million euros after a successful loan spell. At Besiktas, Fernandes’ performances ranged from sublime to abysmal, and his career stagnated.
This move comes in the prime of Manuel Fernandes. Aged 28 years, many players have the most success during this time in their career. Can Fernandes prove everyone wrong? Can he finally find his prime?
Due to injury, Ruben Micael and Hugo Almeida have had to pull out of the Portugal squad ahead of the team’s upcoming match against Ecuador. Called to replace them is Andre Gomes and Nelson Oliveira. The inclusion of Andre Gomes is an interesting one from Portugal National Team coach Paulo Bento. Gomes has broken into Benfica’s first team this season, and a string of positive performances have even merited a starting spot ahead of other very talented midfielders in the team. Despite this, Gomes has never represented the Portugal U-21 team. This is quite a jump.
Besiktas to Sevilla, Palermo, or Juventus?
Multiple clubs are chasing Besiktas striker Hugo Almeida, according to reports coming out of Portugal. Though he doesn’t seem interested in a move away, clubs such as Sevilla, Palermo, and now Juventus are all reportedly chasing the striker. One source suggests that Palermo is willing to pay as much as seven million euros for Almeida. Hugo is reportedly happy at the Turkish club at the moment, and is enjoying a good season, having scored eight goals in only ten appearances thus far.
Unattached to Al Alhi
In a bizarre, yet unsurprising move, Ricardo Quaresma has signed a contract at Al Ahli, in the UAE. Quaresma signed a year and a half contract, tieing him the the club until the end of next season. The winger had been without a club for a short time after he mutually terminated his contract at Turkish club Besiktas. At Besiktas, Quaresma enjoyed a rebirth, so much so that he was recalled to the Portuguese National Team, and even traveled with the squad to last summer’s European Championships. Now, however, a call-up is unlikely. A large factor in this move was surely the money, as he was reportedly courting interest from such clubs as Liverpool in recent times. Now, however, he will be the star of the middle east, if, that is, he can keep his temper under control.
Simao – Unattached to Espanyol
Experienced winger Simao has signed for La Liga side Espanyol for two seasons after his release from Besiktas at the end of last season. Simao has had much experience playing in Spain, after two highly successful spells in the country, one with Barcelona, the other with Atletico Madrid. Simao, who had been a stalwart for the Portuguese National Team, will surely lift the quality of Espanyol’s play.
As with any transfer window, there are always an excess of transfer rumors, some of which are believable, some of which are off the wall. We’ll bring you both, and you can decide for yourself which is which.
Zenit to Juventus, Porto, or Atletico Madrid?
Portuguese international defender Bruno Alves is hinting that a move away from Russia may be in the near future. The defender, who featured heavily in the Portuguese squad at this summer’s European Championships, was snapped up by Zenit in 2010 for a fee of over 20 million pounds. This move came after widespread speculation linking him to the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United. Since his move, he has established himself as an important player for the club. Now, Juventus, Porto, and Atletico Madrid are all said to be interested in the defender. As with Porto’s case, there has been talk of Zenit using Bruno Alves as a makeweight in a shock swoop for Hulk at Porto. Regardless, Atletico Madrid seem the most likely to win his signature, with Alves’ father stating that his son “would have no problem going to Atletico Madrid.”
Malaga to Benfica?
In the midst of financial turmoil, Malaga are looking to sell some of their most prized assets. Spanish international Santi Cazorla has already moved on to Arsenal, while Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon has made a seven million pound move to Russia. One player who has been important for the Spanish club over the past few seasons is Eliseu. A winger who was converted to left-back, Eliseu has impressed many with his performances for not only Malaga, but the Portuguese National team. It is no secret that Benfica are in the market for a left-back after the departure of Capdevila to Espanyol, and the underwhelming performances of Emerson. Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has even used Melgarejo, a Paraguayan forward, as a left-back, an indication that a true left-back is needed for the club. Benfica’s interest in Eliseu is not new, but there now may be more urgency behind the move. Benfica is not the only club interested in the winger, with six other unnamed clubs interested as well.
Besiktas to Atletico Madrid or Liverpool?
Dazzling winger Ricardo Quaresma looks to be on his way out of Turkish club Besiktas. After a wage dispute, it appears that Quaresma is being frozen out of the club, and is reportedly training with the club’s reserve team. The Portuguese international’s skill is undeniable. After an ill-fated move to Inter Milan earlier in his career, the winger’s glory days looked over. After his move to Besiktas, however, the winger gained back some of his confidence, and, once again, began to shine. Now, his days at Besiktas looked numbered. It is reported that Liverpool have reserved eight million pounds for his services, and Atletico Madrid will pounce should their deal with Crisitan Tello fall by the wayside.
The heartbeat of the Besiktas’ midfield is Manuel Fernandes. There is no arguing that. Since joining the Turkish team on loan from Valencia in January 2011, Fernandes has come-of-age. His performances on loan were of such a high standard that at the end of the season, Besiktas opted to purchase him outright. Since then, he has been transformed from a talented player to a talisman for the Turkish team. The midfielder has scored six in all competitions this season, including two in his last two matches. He has also assisted countless others, which has helped him cement himself as one of Besiktas’s most important players.
While Manuel Fernandes’ talent has been undeniable, contract disputes and injuries have hampered any sort of consistency. Fernandes broke onto the scene for Benfica in the 2003-2004 season. In only his second game for the club, he scored, making him the second youngest goalscorer for the club. He soon established himself as an important member of the team, and, in the process, picked up his first cap for Portugal. After two loan spells abroad, both in England (for Portsmouth and Everton), Valencia snapped him up for a fee of around 18 million euros. At Valencia, injuries hampered his natural progress. After failing to make Unai Emery’s plans last season, he joined Besiktas on loan from January until the end of the season. After a successful half-season at the Turkish club, he was bough outright for 2 million euros. Since then, he has established himself as one of the finest midfielders playing in Turkey, and is considered by many to be a shoo-in for the Euro 2012 squad.
His fine performances for Besiktas have not gone unnoticed. Real Madrid and Tottenham are both said to be courting the midfielder. Reports coming out of Turkey even suggest that a 17 million pound deal has already been agreed between Tottenham and Besiktas for the midfielder. Though these reports appear to be untrue, a similar deal may not be too far off.
Due to the recent injury of Bebe, Besiktas are now looking at Braga’s young winger, Pizzi, as his replacement. Bebe joined Besiktas on loan from Manchester United, where he had failed to make the grade, but a recent injury has ruled him out for six months. Besiktas now move their attention to Pizzi, who shone for Pacos Ferreira last season. Pizzi is now with Braga’s first team, with a starting spot likely. According to reports in Portugal, the required fee is around 5 million euros. If the move does materialize, Pizzi will join up with fellow Portuguese players Simao, Bebe, Hugo Almeida, and Manuel Fernandes.