Siena to Zenit
After months of speculation regarding his future, Luis Neto has finally made the move away from Siena. A number of teams were reportedly interested in signing the defender, including Juventus, Roma, Dinamo Moscow, and Fenerbahce. Neto, however, has chosen to move to the snow-covered fields of Russia to meet up with fellow countrymen Bruno Alves and Danny at Zenit St. Petersburg. The Russian season has not yet begun, as the country is gripped by a bitter winter. If Neto can replicate the form that earned him plaudits at Siena, he will have no problem holding down a starting spot at Zenit. The price? 6 million Euros.
It was an uncharacteristically calm transfer deadline day across Europe, but the same cannot be said for Portugal. Though there were no huge deals, there were quite a few surprising ones. Here they are:
Blackburn to Benfica (loan)
Once touted as a star for the future, Diogo Rosado’s development has stalled slightly. Regardless, the midfielder earned a move to freshly-relegated English club Blackburn Rovers this summer. Since then, however, playing time has been scarce, and has necessitated a move back to his home country. Most likely destined for Benfica’s B team, Rosado will most likely not feature much for the club’s first team. If his performances are impressive enough, Benfica has the option to purchase Rosado at the end of the loan period.
Porto to Napoli (loan)
Porto outcast Rolando has finally made a move away from the Estadio Dragao to the Italian peninsula. It had been almost a certainty that the center defender would move away from Porto, but the question was to what team. He joins Napoli until the end of the season, with an option to buy at the end of the deal.
Pacos Ferreira to Malaga (loan)
Pacos Ferreira left-back Vitorino Antunes has joined La Liga high-flyers Malaga on loan until the end of the season with an option to buy. This move was most likely pushed through out of necessity. Nacho Monreal, Malaga’s first-choice left-back, was purchased by Arsenal today. Due to this, Antunes may win a starting spot.
Zurich to Siena (loan)
One of the lesser known transfers that went through today is certainly Jorge Teixeira’s loan move to the Serie A. Teixeira has been plying his trade in Switzerland for two and a half seasons, and will now be in the thick of Siena’s relegation battle. He will join fellow countrymen Luis Neto and Salvador Agra at the club.
Siena to Dinamo Kiev?
According to reports coming out of Portugal, Siena is currently negotiating with Dinamo Kiev over the transfer of Luis Neto. The central defender has been a bright spot in Siena’s dismal campaign. The club currently sits at the base of Serie A, and relegation looks likely. Clubs such as Juventus, Napoli, and Roma have been interested in Neto, and a move looks likely. A release clause is set at 16 million euros, but something as low as 6 million may be enough to pry him away from Siena. If he were to move to Dinamo Kiev, he would join up with fellow countryman Miguel Veloso.
Real Betis to Siena (loan)
Real Betis have decided to loan out Salvador Agra to Serie A side Siena until the end of the season. Currently in last position in the Serie A, Siena are looking for reinforcements to help with the relegation battle. Real Betis, on the other hand, is flying high in La Liga, and is looking to consolidate their squad. Agra moved to Betis this past summer, after impressive performances for the Portuguese Under-21 team and for Olhanense. He has found playing time relatively plentiful, but has not quite adapted to the league. Now, he will join up with fellow countryman Luis Neto, who he played with in his earlier days at Varzim, and attempt to battle away for Siena.
Paulo Bento released a 23 man squad today for the Portugal National team’s upcoming World Cup qualifying fixtures against Russia and Northern Ireland. The biggest surprise on the list was the inclusion of Siena central-defender Neto in the squad. The defender has been impressive in Italy so far this term, and has earned his first call accordingly. Pizzi and Sereno were included for the second squad in a row, and both have yet to make their debut. Hugo Almeida missed out again. Here’s the full list:
Goalkeepers: Beto (Braga), Eduardo (Istanbul BB), Rui Patrício (Sporting)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Zenit), Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid), Sereno (Valladolid), Miguel Lopes (FC Porto), João Pereira (Valencia), Pepe (Real Madrid), Luís Neto (Siena)
Midfielders: Custódio (Braga), João Moutinho (Porto), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raúl Meireles (Fenerbahce), Rúben Amorim (Braga), Rúben Micael (Braga)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hélder Postiga (Zaragoza), Nani (Manchester United), Pizzi (Deportivo La Coruña), Nélson Oliveira (Deportivo La Coruña), Varela (Porto), Éder (Braga)