Liverpool to Granada (loan)
Liverpool have sent young central defender Tiago Ilori on loan to La Liga outfit Granada until the end of the season. Ilori has yet to make an appearance for the Liverpool first team, but has established himself well in the U-21 side. Purchased from Sporting in the summer for a fee of 7 million, Ilori is viewed as a player for the future. Liverpool has a reputation for grooming young players into first team players, and with Ilori still only 20, many hope that’s exactly what will happen.
Braga to Sevilla (loan)
Braga goalkeeper Beto has been loaned to La Liga side Sevilla until the end of the season. Beto has been Braga’s first choice goalkeeper this season after joining from Porto on a free transfer. His recent performances have not been up to standard, and are likely a reason for this move. Beto may be first choice at the Spanish club, but may find himself playing second fiddle to Andres Palop, who has been their first choice for the majority of the season thus far. The loan has an option to buy.
Atletico Madrid to Deportivo (Loan)
Atletico Madrid right-back Silvio has joined fellow La Liga side Deportivo on loan until the end of the season. The defender has been in and out of Atletico’s first team this season, but more times than not, he has missed selection. In an effort to gain playing time, he has joined Deportivo, which is ranked last in La Liga at the moment. A likely contributing factor to the move is the recent appointment of Domingos Pacienca, who Silvio played under at Braga during the 2010-2011 season.
Hugo Vieira – Benfica to Sporting Gijon (loan)
Benfica youngster Hugo Vieira has joined Spanish second division side Sporting Gijon on loan from Benfica for the entire season. The forward impressed for Gil Vicente last season in the Liga Zon Sagres, and Benfica promptly snapped him up in the off-season. First team opportunities look quite limited at Benfica, especially after the Eagle’s purchase of Argentina international Salvio. With a spot in the B team not an option, the forward has opted to go out on loan in Spain.
Sereno – Porto to Valladolid (loan)
Porto central defender Sereno has been loaned to La Liga side Real Valladolid for the entire 2012-2013 season. Sereno did not fit into Vitor Pereira’s plans at Porto, and after a loan last season to Koln, another move this year was likely. This is Sereno’s second spell at the Spanish club, after he played for them a few seasons ago, before he was bought by Porto. Sereno, who has been on the fringes of the Seleccao, will hope to add to his reputation with this move.
Braga to Atletico Madrid (loan)
One of the most unexpected moves of the summer regarding Portuguese football concluded recently. That would be Pizzi moving from Braga to Atletico Madrid. After snapping up Silvio and Julio Alves in the off season, Atletico, who are loaded with cash following the departures of Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero, have secured the loan of Pizzi. Pizzi, who currently is owned by SC Braga, was loaned to Pacos Ferreira last term, notching up over 40 appearances. The performances were enough to convince Braga to keep him in the first team for the 2011-2012 season. He participated in pre-season for Braga, putting in some impressive performances. Many fans expected for Pizzi to be one of the stars of the Liga Zon Sagres this season, but it appears that will be put on hold. The agreement is for the loan of the winger, with an option to buy at the end of the loan contract. The option is believed to be around 15 million euros, which is quite a chunk of money for a largely unproven player. Pizzi’s skills were evident last season, and the player seems to be growing in confidence and ability daily. It will be interesting to see whether this move is a success.
Andre Castro will ply his trade in La Liga next season, after Porto agreed to loan him to Sporting Gijon, once again. Castro, who was called up by Portugal manager Paulo Bento for last week’s game, played the last half of last season with Gijon. At the Spanish club last season, Castro made a name for himself, not only in Spain, but also in Portugal. Before his loan, it was undecided whether he would make the grade at Porto, but there were few doubters upon his return. In his impressive eleven starts, he scored twice and helped his team immensely. With the impending arrival of Belgian international Steven Defour at Porto, Castro has decided to leave in search for playing time. Defour was once a serious target for Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, so the Belgian would definitely be picked over Castro at Porto. Many Porto fans are hoping to see Castro reproduce the form last season that saw him earn a call to the Portuguese National Team so that he can return in the future and set the Liga Zon Sagres alight.
English Premier League giants Everton have loaned out their U-21 international, Joao Silva, to UD Leiria, for the remainder of the season. Joao Silva moved from Aves, in the Liga Orangina, to Everton, in the English Premier League, over the summer for a fee believed to be around 1 million pounds. Silva has since not found any playing time at the club, although his talent has been shown well for the Portuguese Under-21 team. Joao Silva broke onto the Portuguese football scene last season after he finished the season (his debut season) in second overall on the goalscoring charts for the Liga Vitalis. Everton were quick to snap him up, and after an assuring pre-season, Silva was given a first team number, and has spent much of his time with the first team. Now, he will join Lieira on loan, where he will hope to gain some playing time.
Porto’s promising young winger, Ukra, will ply his trade at Braga over the next year-and-a-half. Ukra was on loan from Porto to Olhanense from 2008 to 2010, but has spent the beginning of this season in the Porto first team. He has found playing time almost impossible to come by, so a move to Braga came calling. Ukra’s talent is undoubtable, as shown in the Portuguese Under-21 Team, so now, he will be able to showcase it at Braga.
Fabio Faria has been loaned to Spanish side, Valladolid, until the end of the season. Faria was one of the standout players last season at Rio Ave, and his performances were more than enough to convince Benfica to sign him. He has since found first team opportunities limited at the club, and will be looking to gain some playing time at Valladolid. Valladolid are currently sitting in 12 place in the Liga Adelante, after having been relegated from the Liga BBVA last season. Faria will travel to Spain to finalize the deal tomorrow morning.