Photo: Hannover 96
Valencia to Hannover 96
It was announced Thursday that Valencia right-back Joao Pereira had completed a free-transfer move to Bundesliga side Hannover 96. Pereira had fallen out of favor under Nuno Espirito Santo at the Spanish club, and had not made a league appearance yet, despite being the undisputed first-choice in the previous two seasons. With departure almost certain this windown, Arsenal had been touted as a possible destination, but Pereira opted for a move to Germany. Pereira’s contract is a short-term, six-month contract. Continue reading
Photo: Córdoba Club de Fútbol
Benfica to Cordoba (loan)
After days of speculation, Benfica confirmed yesterday the loan of Bebe to Cordoba until the end of the season. Bebe moved from Manchester United to Benfica in the summer and has found playing time non-existent at the club since his arrival. At Cordoba, Bebe will help the team fight for survival in La Liga, but the battle is an up-hill one, with the team currently sitting in 18th place. Continue reading
Gil Vicente to Granada
Portugal U-21 captain Luis Martins has sealed a move abroad to Spain, signing for La Liga side Granada on a four-season deal. The left-back had been at Gil Vicente ever since January of 2013, when he arrived from Benfica. At Gil Vicente, Martins established himself as the team’s first-choice left back, a status that he held for his entire time at the club. There is no fee announced for the transfer, but it is expected that Luis Martins will be at least a regular team member at Granada. The Spanish team had been searching for a left-back for some time, and Martins is who they chose.
Vitoria Setubal to Malaga
After negotiations began this week, Malaga have completed a deal for the purchase of Vitoria Setubal’s Ricardo Horta on a 5-year contract. The winger impressed last season at Vitoria Setubal, appearing 34 times in the league and scoring 7 in the process. Still only aged 19 years old, Horta will hope to build on last season’s success at Setubal. And with a reported fee of around 1 million euros, Vitoria Setubal have been compensated well, though they will surely be ruing his decision to leave the club. With such positive performances at just 19, one can only imagine what he would have accomplished this season, should he have stayed in Portugal. But now, Spain is his home. Malaga have a good record over the past seasons for developing young talent, or at the very least gifting young players first-team opportunities. And that’s exactly what Horta needs.
Tiago (left) during his first stint with Chelsea, when he helped Chelsea to its first league title in 50 years. Photo courtesy express.co.uk
After a stellar season at Atletico Madrid which saw the team win the league and reach the final of the Champions League, Tiago Mendes is set to rejoin Jose Mourinho at English giants Chelsea. This will be Tiago’s second stint at the English club, after representing the team during the 2004-2005 season, also during Mourinho’s first season at Chelsea. An integral part of Atletico Madrid’s much-hailed midfield last season, Tiago found himself in arguably the finest form of his career at the advanced age of 33. He was in such fine form that he publicly regretted his decision to retire from the Portuguese National Team following the 2010 World Cup. At the time, it looked as if the midfielder’s career was on the steep decline, despite positive performances for Portugal at the aforesaid World Cup.
At the time of his international retirement, Tiago was languishing at Juventus, having only managed 7 league appearances during the first half of the previous season. A loan to Atletico Madrid was arranged in January of 2010 (still prior to the World Cup), and the midfielder showed his worth, making 18 league appearances in the latter half of the season. After a successful half season and a positive World Cup campaign, another loan was arranged for the 2010-2011 season. But this time it was a season-long loan. Tiago continued to perform well for the Spanish club, managing 31 league appearances. After the loan expired, Tiago was purchased outright by Atletico on a two year contract. Since that time, Tiago has established himself as a tactically-sound asset to the team. He’s not the player he once was, but his knowledge of the game has grown immensely-an attribute he showed to perfection this season.
Many are speculating that Tiago’s move to Chelsea is one that will see him become part of the team’s backroom staff after his playing days are over. He was signed on a two-year deal, which will see him under contract until he is 35 years old, a prime age for retirement. There have been no secrets about his relationship with Jose Mourinho, and many are speculating that Tiago may have been signed to become Mourinho’s assistant a few years down the road. Will this happen? Only time will tell. For the mean time, Chelsea have signed an experienced player who was at the heart of one of the finest underdog stories of last season.
Vitoria Setubal to Valencia
Vitoria Setubal central defender Ruben Vezo is in Spain currently, finalizing a move to La Liga giants Valencia. The fee is thought to be around 1.5 million euros, a figure greatly less than his 7.5 million euro release clause. Vezo is thought to be a replacement for Adil Rami, who will move on loan to Milan in January. With Valencia low on center-backs this season, the team has had to rely on Jeremy Mathieu, a left back, to fill in at center-back alongside club captain Ricardo Costa. Valencia were also touted to be interested in securing Tiago Ilori on loan from Liverpool, but their interest in Veze appears to be greater. Vezo is expected to sign on today for a contract which runs for four seasons.
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.
Espanyol to Benfica
In a surprising move, Benfica has signed Rui Fonte from La Liga side Espanyol on a four and a half year deal. Fonte moved to Spain in 2010 on loan from Sporting Lisbon, and impressed at Espanyol’s B team. His performances were enough for the Spanish club to purchase him outright. He appeared 17 times for Espanyol last season, scoring once, but has since fallen down the pecking order. Earlier this season, it became clear that Fonte would not be an Espanyol player much longer, and he was put out on the market. This move comes as a surprise, as there was no talk of it beforehand. It just came out of the blue. Regardless, Fonte will be an eagle for the next four and a half seasons.
Real Betis to Palermo
Real Betis right-back Nelson has made the switch to Italy to join Palermo. The Italian side are struggling in Serie A so far this season. Normally a top half team, Palermo now finds itself second to last in the Serie A, with only 17 points from 22 games. Real Betis, however, is currently over-performing in La Liga, and currently sits at fifth in the standings. Nelson has appeared only ten times in the league for Betis so far this season, but will most likely become an important part of Palermo.
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.