Olhanense to Real Betis (end of season)
It is finally official. Olhanense winger Salvador Agra has signed for La Liga side Real Betis. There had been speculation as to whether or not the deal had actually gone through, but all doubts were vanquished whan the Olhanense president confirmed the transfer. Agra won’t meet up with his new teammates just yet, however. The winger is poised to finish the season with the Portuguese club. Real Betis grabbed the winger for a fee of 200,000 euros, and Olhanense still hold 10% of his rights.
Fernando Meira has completed his move from Russian powerhouse Zenit to La Liga strugglers Real Zaragoza. Meira has found playing time very hard to come by at the Russian club, especially upon the arrival of compatriot Bruno Alves. Fernando had been linked with a number of clubs, most notably Juventus, but the moves never materialized. The central defender will now ply his trade in Spain as he attempts to end his career on a high note.
Former Sporting boss Paulo Bento has taken over the Portuguese hot seat from Carlos Queiroz. His contract will run from now until July 2012. Hopefully, Bento will be able to revitalize the Seleccao, currently in quite a lackluster form. Paulo Bento stressed that the team needs to think of itself as one collective unit, not a collection of individual stars.“We have quality, willingness and motivation to achieve this, and I believe that the players will make it so. I am positive no player is even contemplating not being at Euro 2012,” said Bento. One possible positive that may help Bento be a greater coach than Queiroz is that Bento has experienced playing as a player on the field for the National Team. He will understand what is running through a player’s mind as he makes his debut, or as he appears at his first World Cup. This knowledge could prove invaluable. Apparently, former Mexico boss Javier Aguirre was interested in the job too.
It’s official. I’m sorry to say it’s official. The Portuguese injury list continues to grow. First Bosingwa, then Varela and Ruben Micael, and now Nani. When I saw this, I was absolutely shell shocked. Nani will miss the 2010 FIFA World Cup due to an injury in his shoulder at a training session. He has been in almost tantalizing form for club and country as of late. He was arguably the best performer against Cape Verde and Cameroon, and his heroics at United have earned him a contract extension. I fell quite sorry for him as this will be his first World Cup, and with the form he is currently in, I have no doubt that he would have raised some eyebrows. His replacement will be Ruben Amorim, of Benfica, who has been told to pack his bags immediately. It now looks like Duda will mainly be used as a left winger, not a left-back. Instead, Fabio Coentrao will most likely be the starting left-back. Amorim will most likely be used as a wing-back, either on left or right, but it looks more likely that he will be a backup for Coentrao on the left.
Everton completed the signing of Portuguese whizkid Joao Silva earlier this week. The 19 year-old has been in top form for Liga de Honra side Desportivo das Aves this season, currently the league’s second top goalscorer with 13 goals. At only 19, he looks to have a bright future, which is why Everton paid 580,000 euros for him. Now, don’t expect to mear much about him in the near future. He will most likely work his way through the Toffee’s world-renowned youth academy. But when he does break into the first team, expect to see things.
Silva has recently been compared to fellow compatriot, and former National Team striker, Pauleta. If you compare both players’ scoring records, then they are similar in that they can score goals almost as easily as it takes them to breathe. On the other hand, if you were to look at Pauleta’s career, then you will see that he did not really get discovered until he was about 23, which is not nearly as young as Silva is now.
It’s official, all of the speculation is over. Ruben Micael has made a 5 million euro move to Portuguese champions Porto. This is Porto’s first purchase of the winter transfer period, and at 5 million, Porto will feel lucky to get him so cheap. Ruben Micael has been wanted by a number of European clubs such as Werder Bremen and Real Zaragoza. Sporting Lisbon were on the brink of signing the highly rated midfielder earlier this month, but the deal fell through. This move will surely raise Micael’s chances of making his was into the National Team.
Its official…..I think. Edinho has moved to PAOK, of Greece, on loan from Malaga until the end of the season. PAOK will have the option of buying the Portuguese international at the end of the season for around a million Euros, if they so choose. Once again, Edinho is searching to find more first-team playing time to catch the bus to South Africa this summer. Edinho will be playing alongside fellow Portuguese, Vieirinha, who has been explosive this season, playing 17 games and scoring 5. I think that this move will be beneficial for Edinho as he will have a greater chance of being selected by Quieroz if he is playing in Greece than if he was playing at Maritimo in Portugal.
Former Benfica defender Jose Fonte has left Crystal Palace(Championship) for Southampton(League 1). The versatile defender, who was also used as a forward at Palace, has earned quite a bit of praise at Crystal Palace. Fonte will be at Southampton until 2013, and for a believed fee of around 1.3 million pounds, he will certainly be one of the stars. When asked about his move down a league, Fonte said:
“I am delighted. I do not want me wrong because I was happy at Crystal Palace, but I’m happy with the decision I made. It may seem a step backwards but I think I’ll take two steps forward. “
After failing to properly adapt in Italy, Eliseu is going back to the league that gave him his start. Zaragoza, who were recently promoted from the Segunda Division, are currently sitting next-to-last in the La Liga standings. There is no doubt in my mind whether this move is going to be good for Eliseu. He showed us last year that he certainly was one of the most valuable Malaga players, if not one of the most desired La Liga players. He showed us that La Liga was the league for him. Eliseu, no doubt, would love to get in the Portugal squad for next summer’s World Cup, which is probably why he is moving back to the league that gave him his start. I expect that we will be seeing great things from the speedy winger.
Edinho has been loaned from Spanish outfit Malaga to Portuguese outfit Maritimo. Edinho last played in Portugal for Vitoria Setabul in the 2007/2008 season, which saw the club win the Carlesberg Cup. From Setabul he moved to AEK Athens, where he was in great form. Due to his great form, Malaga snatched up the Portuguese forward. Edinho hasn’t really found his stride at Malaga, probably due to the limited paying time he has been given. He has managed a goal, though. So, in an attempt to gain some match experience(to salvage his World Cup ambitions), he has moved to Portuguese club Maritimo.