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
Porto to West Bromwich Albion (loan)
After first-team chances looked slim this pre-season, Porto winger Silvestre Varela has left the club on loan. The winger, who had been an undisputed starter over the past few seasons now will join English Premier League side West Brom on loan until the end of the season. There is no mention of whether or not West Brom will have the option to sign him at the end of the loan, but with his Porto future up in the air, there’s every possibility an option does exist.
After a disappointing 2013/2014 campaign, Porto renovated their squad heavily. Head coach Paulo Fonseca was sacked and was replaced by former Spanish U-21 team head coach Julien Lopetegui. With Lopetegui came a host of Spanish players, including Adrian (Atletico Madrid), Oliver Torres (Atletico Madrid), and Cristian Tello (Barcelona). Other players were brought in from clubs such as Real Madrid, Granada, and Feyenoord. These signings spelled the end of Varela’s time at Porto, at least temporarily.
Though Varela is taking a step backwards in term of quality of club (from Porto to West Brom), he is certainly stepping up in terms of league quality. The English Premier League has formed a reputation for being one of the most competitive leagues in existence at the moment. Varela will now have the opportunity to play against some of the finest opposition in world football, which will do nothing but help his chances of appearing for the Portuguese National Team.
Genoa are the most recent club to be following Sporting’s center-back, Nuno Andre Coelho, according to reports coming out of Portugal. Clubs such as Napoli, West Brom, and Palermo are all said to be interested, but Genoa has now declared interest. Coelho started the season well, constantly in the starting lineup. His performances were impressive enough to catch the eye of the Portuguese National Team coach, who proceeded to call him up. Nuno then fell slightly out of favor at Sporting Lisbon, and has since seen a greatly reduced amount of playing time. Now, foreign clubs have become to interested in hiring him. If his situation does not improve at Sporting, we may very well see him at another club in the near future.
Nuno Andre Coelho and Pedro Mendes have been at the heart of some transfer speculation regarding a possible move to Italy. Coelho made the switch from Porto to Sporting in the summer as part of the deal that saw Moutinho go the other way. The defender has done well since the move, well enough to earn a call-up to the Portuguese National Team. Napoli, Samdoria, and Palermo are all courting him, with West Brom, in England, also said to be interested. Formal contact has been made, according to the player’s agent.
Pedro Mendes, who made the move from Rangers to Sporting last season, has also been in the middle of speculation regarding his future at the club. Bologna and Naples are the teams said to be interested in the defensive midfielder, who starred at the World Cup for Portugal last summer. According to reports, Mendes could leave for around 2 million euros.
For some reason, all of the good moves happen late. Former Benfica defender Ricardo Rocha, who has played for the likes of Tottenham and Standard Leige, has recently been without a club. Portsmouth, trying to fill the void that will be left from Kaboul’s departure to Tottenham, snatched up the injury-prone defender.