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.
Valencia goalkeeper Cristiano has been released from the Portuguese Under-21 training camp due to injury. Rui Jorge, the current Under-21 coach, has announced that he will not call up a replacement for the shot-stopper. Mika and Luis Ribeiro will now vie for a starting spot, a spot that Mika will most likely get. Both the goalkeepers were a part of the Portugal U-20 team’s recent runner-up finish at the U-20 World Cup. Mika was voted the best goalkeeper of the tournament, while Luis Ribeiro failed to make a single appearance. The choice doesn’t look a hard one.
Elsewhere in the squad, Ruben Ferreira, of Maritimo, has also been released due to injury. The left-back has been in great form this season for Maritimo, easily holding down a starting spot. Belenenses left-back Andre Pires will take his place. Pires made his debut for the U-21 team earlier this season against Slovakia.
Nelson Oliveira and Lassana Camara have both been dropped from the Portuguese Under-21 team, due to injury. Both Oliveira and Sana, as he is called, impressed for Portugal during this summer’s U-20 World Cup. They have more than earned their call-ups, but their U-21 debuts will have to wait. Pele, of Genoa, and Joao Silva, currently on loan at Vitoria Setubal from Everton, have been called up as able replacements. Joao Silva has been in fine form this season, already scoring twice this season. Pele has yet to play for Genoa, but like Sana and Nelson Oliveira, he was impressive in the U-20 World Cup.
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.
Porto’s young midfielder, Andre Castro, is currently considering his options after opportunities at F.C. Porto have become few. Castro, who is a regular for the Portuguese Under-21 team, spent the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons on loan at Olhanense. His performances were impressive enough to earn him a stay at Porto this season, but the midfielder has found his options limited. Castro is now considering moving away from the Dragao, with Sporting Gijon his most likely destination. If the move happens, it will be a loan.