Manchester United to Real Madrid, Manchester City, or Tottenham?
Manchester United winger Nani is reportedly unhappy at the club, and may be forced to leave if the situation does not improve. The winger wants to renew his contract at the club, but the officials in charge of such matters are slow to respond. Consequently, Nani has taken this to mean that he is not wanted at the English club, even though he very much wants to stay. If Nani were to decide to leave, there would be no shortage of clubs waiting in the wings, with Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Tottenham all reportedly interested.
With the arrivals of Magala and Defour from Standard Leige, central midfielders and central defenders are looking nervously at their possible playing time. Sereno and Ruben Micael are two of those players. Both found playing time hard to come by last season, and it looks less likely this season.
Sereno to Koln?
Sereno was purchased by Porto in June of last year after a half-season stint with Real Valladolid. The central defender has had steep competition for playing time, in the form of Maicon, Otamendi, and Rolando, two of which are full internationals. Sereno only managed five starts in the league, with the Rolando-Maicon pairing often preferred. Koln’s sporting director is reportedly in Porto currently so that a deal can be struck between the two teams. Maybe Sereno can revitalize his career in Germany.
Ruben Micael Expected to Leave
Following the arrival of Defour to Porto, Andre Castro went out on loan to Sporting Gijon. Now, Ruben Micael is exploring similar options. Defour, who is a seasoned Belgian international, is likely to get the nod over Micael, who was used sparingly last season. According to reports coming out of Portugal, Spain is the most likely destination for the midfielder.
It is looking unlikely that Hugo Almeida, who has been in the middle of speculation regarding his future at Werder Bremen, will remain at Werder past the January transfer window. Besiktas, Juventus, Lazio, and Real Madrid are all said to be interested. Though the Real Madrid move looks unlikely and the Besiktas move has been played down by Almeida, no moves are ruled out. Bremen have tried to no avail to give Almeida a new contract, but the two parties cannot come to an agreement. Besiktas are reportedly interested in signing the burly striker, but Almeida himself has ruled out the move. Edy Reja, the manager at Italian club, Lazio, has stated that he would love to add Almeida to his squad.
A move to Besiktas would be the most beneficial, in my opinion, due to the fact that strikers of his build tend to flourish in Turkey (i.e. Makukula). Almeida knows how to score, and due to his lack of speed, a move to Lazio may be beneficial also. The only concern I have in regards to that move is the fact that the last Portuguese player to play at Lazio did not have the best of times (Elsieu).
An uncharacteristically poor defensive showing left the Seleccao in a poor position in their Euro 2012 qualification group after a 4-4 draw against minnows Cyprus. At least, we thought they were minnows. Cyprus started the night off well with a goal from Anoleftis after some horrible defending from Miguel. Hugo Almeida got the game going for Portugal just five minutes later when he headed in a pin-point Nani cross. Konstantinou then put Cyprus back in front after taking advantage of a mistake from Raul Meireles to slot home past Eduardo. Portugal were then level after Raul Meireles sent a low left-foot drive past the Cyproit goalkeeper. That is how Portugal went into the locker room, level with Cyprus at 2-2. Portugal’s attack had been fluent, even if it was unorganized, but their defense was unorganized and chaotic, with Miguel and Meireles to blame for the first and second goals, respectively. Portugal walked out of the locker room knowing that they would have to step up if they were going to even have a chance of winning. Portugal did step up, with Quaresma proving his worth with a series of surging runs. Portugal got off to a great start after Danny headed in from a Coentrao cross to make the score 3-2 Portugal. But of course, Cyprus scored again. This time, a perfect defense-splitting ball was enough to send Okkas one-on-one with Eduardo, and the Cypriot player made no mistake in his finish. Portugal had something else to say, though. Quaresma took the corner kick, which was headed straight into the path of the on-rushing Manuel Fernandes, who hammered the ball into the upper left hand corner of the net. Sadly, it wouldn’t end that way. Avraam scored the late equalizer to give Cyprus a well-deserved 4-4 draw against Portugal.
Final score – Portugal 4-4 Cyprus
Portugal – Eduardo, Miguel, Bruno Alves, Ricardo Carvalho, Fabio Coentrao, Manuel Fernandes (Joao Moutinho, 79), Raul Meireles, Danny (Liedson, 61), Nani, Hugo Almeida (Yannick, 89), Ricardo Quaresma