Tiago Mendes Returns to Chelsea


Tiago Mendes-Chelsea 2004-2005

Tiago (left) during his first stint with Chelsea, when he helped Chelsea to its first league title in 50 years. Photo courtesy express.co.uk

After a stellar season at Atletico Madrid which saw the team win the league and reach the final of the Champions League, Tiago Mendes is set to rejoin Jose Mourinho at English giants Chelsea. This will be Tiago’s second stint at the English club, after representing the team during the 2004-2005 season, also during Mourinho’s first season at Chelsea. An integral part of Atletico Madrid’s much-hailed midfield last season, Tiago found himself in arguably the finest form of his career at the advanced age of 33. He was in such fine form that he publicly regretted his decision to retire from the Portuguese National Team following the 2010 World Cup. At the time, it looked as if the midfielder’s career was on the steep decline, despite positive performances for Portugal at the aforesaid World Cup.

At the time of his international retirement, Tiago was languishing at Juventus, having only managed 7 league appearances during the first half of the previous season.  A loan to Atletico Madrid was arranged in January of 2010 (still prior to the World Cup), and the midfielder showed his worth, making 18 league appearances in the latter half of the season. After a successful half season and a positive World Cup campaign, another loan was arranged for the 2010-2011 season. But this time it was a season-long loan. Tiago continued to perform well for the Spanish club, managing 31 league appearances. After the loan expired, Tiago was purchased outright by Atletico on a two year contract. Since that time, Tiago has established himself as a tactically-sound asset to the team. He’s not the player he once was, but his knowledge of the game has grown immensely-an attribute he showed to perfection this season.

Many are speculating that Tiago’s move to Chelsea is one that will see him become part of the team’s backroom staff after his playing days are over. He was signed on a two-year deal, which will see him under contract until he is 35 years old, a prime age for retirement. There have been no secrets about his relationship with Jose Mourinho, and many are speculating that Tiago may have been signed to become Mourinho’s assistant a few years down the road. Will this happen? Only time will tell. For the mean time, Chelsea have signed an experienced player who was at the heart of one of the finest underdog stories of last season.

Clubs Courting Hugo Almeida


Hugo Almeida - Besiktas

Hugo Almeida

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.

Transfer Rumors – 8/8/12


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.

Bruno Alves

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.”

Eliseu

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.

Quaresma

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.

Fabio Lopes Much Coveted


Fabio Lopes

Real Betis to AC Milan?

Real Betis youngster Fabio Lopes is set for a move to A.C. Milan, according to reports coming out of Portugal. The 18 year-old has been dubbed the new Rui Costa by many news sources, which is quite a comparison to live up to. A.C. Milan have reportedly agreed a deal, and a medical has been passed, but final stipulations must be ironed out to complete the move. Juventus, Parma, Ajax, and PSV were all said to be interested also, but it appears that Milan will snatch the youngster up. Lopes is currently playing with Betis’s youth team. “I hope I can reach an agreement with AC Milan in order to join the team. However, if negotiations do not run as expected, other alternatives have in Italy. I feel very motivated though things are not yet fully confirmed. I’m still waiting for an answer,” Lopes said. If Lopes indeed joins Milan, he will be the team’s third Portuguese acquisition this summer after Ricardo Ferreira joined from Porto and Pele joined from Genoa.

Juventus and Roma Following Yannick


According to reports coming out of Portugal, Yannick is being tracked by two of Italy’s biggest teams: Juventus and Roma. Yannick has been linked with a host of foriegn clubs recently, mainly from England. Tottenham was linked recently, but according to his agent, Yannick is close to signing a new contract with Sporting Lisbon. Yannick has been in impressive form so far this pre-season, most notably scoring a brilliant solo effort against Juventus. Yannick has been with Sporting for some time now, but has been impressive in spurts, not able to keep up his form from game to game. Yannick’s pace would suit him for the Premier League, but he is just as receptive to a move to the Serie A.

Diego Lauds Almeida


Hugo AlmeidaFormer Porto, Werder Bremen, and Juventus midfielder Diego has laid heaps of praise on Portugal National Team and Werder Bremen striker Hugo Almeida. Diego, who currently plays for Wolfsburg, is glad that Almeida is not to play when Wolfsburg and Bremen meet this weekend. “Hugo Almeida is one of the best strikers in the league,” stated the Brazilian. Almeida is currently under speculation regarding a move away from Bremen this winter, with Lazio, Juventus, and Real Madrid all interested.

Transfer Rumors – 10/26/10


As the winter transfer window nears, the rumors have started to heat up. Here’s the latest:

Bruma Still Being Tracked

16-year-old Portuguese starlet, Bruma, is reportedly still being tracked by Manchester City and Chelsea. Already a regular for the Portuguese Under-19 Team, Bruma has made a name for himself as the next of the talented youngsters to come out of the academy. After signing a pro-contract last week, interest in the player was thought to be diminished, but Tottenham has now joined Chelsea and City in the race for his signature.

Liverpool Watching Coentrao

English giant Liverpool are reportedly tracking Benfica winger Fabio Coentrao. Coentrao was of the few players who actually impressed for the Seleccao at last summer’s World Cup. Since then, he has become a regular for both the Portuguese National Team, and Benfica. Coentrao would be the second Portuguese at the club, after Raul Meireles. Would he be joining a “sinking ship?”

Juventus and City Tabling Bids

Sporting captain Daniel Carrico is currently being tracked quite closely by Manchester City and Italian giants, Juventus. Carrico has been tracked for some time now by top clubs, most recently by Spartak Moscow, but has pledged his future to the club. Delneri, the Juventus coach, spoke of Carrico, saying: “Carriço is a fantastic player with great potential, which we followed for some time. Juventus is always attentive to the great values that stand in world football and a player Carriço is very interesting, still relatively young”

Portuguese Transfer Rumors – 10/12/10


Despite it being quite far away from any transfer window, the rumors are still heating up. So, here are the major stories:

1. Ruben Pinto Tracked by Arsenal

The Portuguese Under-19 captain is currently being tracked by Premier League giants Arsenal. Pinto, who models his style of play after Rui Costa, has recently turned down other offers to the Premier League. He has, however, a contract tying him down to Benfica until 2012, so a move probably won’t be likely. Ruben has fancied a move to the Premier League for some time now, and with his heroics against Spain in this last Euro U-19 tournament, maybe that move can finally happen.

2. Milan Keeping Tabs on Coentrao and Periera

Italian giants A.C. Milan are allegedly watching Portuguese National Team fullbacks Joao Pereira and Fabio Coentrao. Coentrao was a bright spot in Portugal’s muddy World Cup campaign, and has since become a vital player for Benfica. He currently is tied to Benfica with a release clause of 30 million pounds. Joao Pereira moved from Braga to Sporting Lisbon earlier this year, and has since impressed enough to earn a call-up to the National Team.

3. Juventus in Miguel Veloso Swap Deal

Juventus are supposedly making a deal with Genoa for the trade of Sissoko and Miguel Veloso. The deal would see Miguel Veloso leave Genoa, who he joined in the summer, and meet up with Juventus, who was tracking him earlier this year. I do not foresee this move happening.

4. Pedro Marques to Make Portugal Switch

Real Madrid C midfielder Pedro Marques is reportedly being watched by Olhanense. Olhanense are currently third in the Liga Zon Sagres, having enjoyed an impressive start to their second consecutive season in the Portuguese top-flight. Marques has been playing in Spain for some time now, but it has been speculated that Olhanense want his services.

5. Chelsea Want Pepe in 2012

Following Pepe’s statement that he plans to leave Real Madrid in 2012 whan his contract is up, Chelsea have come out and said that they want him for free in 2012. Pepe has been rock-solid in his partnership with Ricardo Carvalho not only at Real Madrid, but also for the Seleccao.

 

Transfer News – 8/18/10


A lot has been happening lately involving transfers, and it seems that the more that happens, the less time I have to report on it. Here’s the brunt of it.

1. Pizzi loaned to Pacos Ferreira again

Portuguese Under-21 international Pizzi has been loaned from Braga to fellow Liga Zon Sagres Pacos Ferreira. The 20 year-old was on loan to Pacos for half of last season, and after some intense negotiations, Braga have decided to loan him out again, this time for the entire 2010-2011 season.

2. Nelson Oliveira Switches Rio Ave for Pacos

Benfica starlet Nelson Oliveira has apparently swapped a loan move from Rio Ave to Pacos Ferreira. Originally, Oliveira was to play for Rio Ave for the 2010-2011 season, but it has now surfaced that the Portuguese Under-19 international will now be playing for Pacos de Ferreira instead. Why? I don’t know.

3. Sergio Oliveira Loaned to Beira-Mar

FC Porto youngster Sergio Oliveira will spend next season on loan to Liga Zon Sagres newcomers Beira-Mar. Oliveira was quite impressive in the recent UEFA U-19 championships, scoring against Italy.

4. Benfica Starlet Snapped up by Parma

Danilo Periera, who recently impressed with the Portugal Under-19 side at the UEFA Euro U-19 Championship, has recently been touted to move to Serie A, specifically Genoa and Parma. Parma somehow came out on top and Pereira is tied to them for the next 5 years. Supposedly he will be unveiled tomorrow.

5. Tiago Loaned to Atletico…again

Portuguese World Cup star Tiago has, once again, been loaned to Europa League champions Atletico Madrid from Juventus. Quique Flores, the Atleico coach, struggled to get Tiago again after an impressive spell last season.Tiago thoroughly approved the move, saying that Atletico is the only team he would consider moving to.

6. Meireles on Verge of United Move.

Raul Meireles was suprisingly left out of Porto’s squad for their upcoming Europa League match, further fueling the transfer speculation surrounding him. Sir Alex Ferguson is apparently searching for a replacement for the aging Paul Scholes. After he failed at his bid for German midfielder Ozil, Sir Alex has now shifted his attention to Raul Meireles. Meireles was one of Portugal’s bright points at this summer’s World Cup, and Chelsea were apparently on the verge of signing him this summer, but the deal fell through.

OFFICIAL: Tiago Loaned to Atletico Madrid


Its official, Tiago is turning his career around……..Maybe. We’ll see about that, but the Portuguese international has been loaned by Juventus to Atletico. I think tha this will be a very constructive move for Tiago, as he can help them combat the ongoing relegation worries. Also, he will be playing alongside fellow Sellecao, Simao. For some time now, it has become obvious that either the Italian League or Juventus are not a good place for Tiago. This year, he came in third, if I remember correctly, in the “Worst Italian Player” standings. So overall, I hope that this will be a good move for him, if anything to get his confidence back.