photo courtesy of cdfeirense.pt
Feirense to Braga
According to reports coming out of Portugal, Sporting Braga have signed Fabio Carvalho from Feirense. Carvalho, who is also known as Fabinho, will officially sign after he finishes his involvement with the Portugal U-20 side at the Toulon Tournament. Fabinho, whose primary position is attacking midfielder, managed 20 first team appearances and four goals this season, which was his debut season.
One can easily draw parallels between Fabinho’s first season and Braga’s signing from Feirense last season, Rafa. In his debut season for Feirense (2012-2013 season), Rafa played an even larger role than Fabinho did this season, appearing 41 times and scoring 10 goals from midfield. That’s not to say that Fabinho is less talented than Rafa. Numbers don’t always tell the truth. Braga will surely be hoping for another Rafa, who after just one season is already an established squad member at Braga, and was recently included in Paulo Bento’s 23 for the World Cup. All by the age of 21.
This could also signal Rafa’s departure from Braga. The midfielder’s impressive performances have caught the attention of clubs such as Southampton and Roma, both of whom were following Rafa very closely at one point or another in the season. One rumor that has persisted, and appears may turn true, is Benfica’s interest in Rafa. According to some sources, a deal is already in place; a deal that will not be announced until after the World Cup. So, Fabinho’s move to Braga can easily be assumed to be to fill the void that Rafa will leave once he departs.
It seems as though there may be a new world-class player donning the Seleccao’s shirt at some point in the near future. Marquinhos, who scored today for PSG in the team’s 3-0 Champion’s League victory over Benfica today, expressed his interest in playing for the Portuguese National Football Team. Though born in Brazil, Marquinhos also holds Portuguese citizenship, likely through his parents or grandparents. The defender expressed his interest, saying: “If the invitation comes, why not? I’ll be very honored and happy.”
Should Portugal decide to call on Marquinhos, they would get one of the brightest young center-backs in the game at the moment. The defender made the move to Roma at the beginning of last season. Though not much was expected of him, Marquinhos established himself as not only a talented player, but also one of the league’s finest defenders (at age 18). 26 impressive league appearances for one of Italy’s top teams earned him a move to money-rich PSG, who splashed out 30 million euros for his services. Still only aged 19, Marquinhos has established himself as one of the brightest prospects in world football, and the Seleccao would be silly not to choose him before Brazil gets to him.
Nuno Andre Coelho
Braga to Roma (Loan)?
AS Roma has made an official attempt to loan Nuno Andre Coelho in January. Roma’s defensive options are slim, and they currently have the worst defensive record in the league, despite sitting at seventh in Serie A. Now, in an attempt to bolster its defense, Roma has turned to long-term target Nuno Andre Coelho. Coelho has enjoyed a recent run of form after an injury to Douglao granted him much-needed playing time. His performances have merited being pre-drafted for Portugal’s upcoming friendly against Gabon, where he may very likely debut. The deal Roma proposed is a loan beginning in January and lasting to the end of the season, with an option to buy. His release clause is set at 12 million euros, and Braga will not let him go for much less than that.
There almost always seems to be more rumors during the transfer window than actual deals. This season has not been an exception, and with the rumors flying in, here are some of the more notable ones.
Olhanense to Real Betis?
Salvador Agra has been nothing short of a revelation for Olhanense this season. The winger, who can also be deployed as a striker, joined Olhanense from Varzim at the beginning of the season. Not much was expected of him, at least not as much as he as shown. Though he has only scored once thus far this season, he has proved himself as a vital piece of the team through his lively and smart play. Other clubs have not ignored this. Real Betis look to be front-runners for his signature. Osasuna and Koln have all said to be interested recently, and Betis even had an offer rejected. Olhanense has stated that they do not plan to sell the winger, regardless of the price.
Porto to Roma?
Another winger that may be on his way out of Portugal is Silvestre Varela. Varela was in spectacular form last season, and was one of the reasons that Porto were as successful as they were. This season, under new coach Vitor Pereira, Varela has found playing time much too hard to come by. The arrival of Djalma from Maritimo in the off season has reduced his playing time further, and talk of winger Yannick Djalo joining the club may just be the last straw. Varela is fed up with sitting on the sidelines, which will undoubtedly hinder his chances of making the Portuguese squad for Euro 2012. Roma’s ears have perked up at all of this talk. The Italian giants are said to have made Varela their number one target.
Benfica to Roma?
Following his impressive performances for Portugal in the U-20 World Cup, Nelson Oliveira is at the end of some unsurprising interest from one of the finest European teams. Roma is pondering making a bid for the forward, who won the silver boot at the recent U-20 World Cup. Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has stated that he will leave the striker in the first team this season, along with Luis Martins and Mika, but Roma are lurking. Roma’s sporting director is reportedly quite fond of the striker, and a move may happen in the near future.
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.