Well, this is, more or less, what I expected. Although Lucescu Jr. seems determined to stick to a 4-4-2, the players selected, the trained&tried moves, the ability to switch from a defensive approach to a very offensive one during the game, all speak of a team that is finally working on a style, while adding the needed new faces. And the coach deserves credit for that. For his mistakes, he will always pay, look at the decision to field Lobont (out of form and severely lacking match fitness – please forgive the Football Manager language!), but this is a period when we can afford them, as long as we’ll be looking to fix them in the near future.
Anyway, in spite of the three goals, we look pretty good at the back, with Chivu pushing the line upfield and both centre-backs composed on the ball, helping the build-up. We have Goian and Galamaz in stand by, we’re rock solid there, Rat is in good shape and Sepsi – a promising reserve. But we still need a keeper and also an alternative to Maftei, on the right. Read more…
It’s a six months loan deal, but Dinamo’s forward stated today that he hopes to impress and earn a permanent move in the winter, which shows that Bratu wants to make it there and isn’t just looking for some time away from Romania. In spite of his medical problems from last season, Bratu is a classy player, a forward who likes to drift wide and cut inside, preferring always a placed shot instead of a powerful finish.
Litex could get their hands on another experienced and good Romanian player very soon, as FC Brasov’s left midfielder Catalin Munteanu is currently between a move to Bulgaria and a return to Dinamo, with Ioan Giovani Becali taking care of negotiations.
- With a season destroyed by a nasty injury and a couple of failed attempts to return into the first team, Florin Bratu has agreed to move to Bulgaria, in order to get back to full fitness and his best level of performance. Bratu is currently undergoing the medical tests with Litex Lovech, who has offered Dinamo aroun 300.000 Euros for a six months loan and is expected to sign the deal in the next few days.
- FC Vaslui’s top player and highest earner, Wesley Lopes da Silva, left Romania yesterday and stated that he’d love to switch clubs this summer, launching an attack on the club owner, Adrian Porumboiu. Wesley will go to Spain, where his agent has identified a few interested clubs, but it all depends now on Porumboiu’s decision, who won’t accept anything below 2 million Euros, but is also wealthy enough to say no even to such offers. That’s why, by taking such a stand, the Brazilian forward just made his life more complicated than it is…
- FC Timisoara’s first signing after the arrival of Maurizio Trombetta (who was on the verge of landing a deal with Litex Lovech!) is Iulian Tames, an experienced playmaker, FC Arges. A strange move, apparently, as we’re talking about a 31 years old coming from a second division club, but Timisoara really missed a player of his profile last season, while Tames (who also played for Dinamo, in the past) still has quality, but will probably need to readjust to playing in the top flight and for a place in the top three.
- As there are a lot of rumors on the forums regarding Bucurica‘s supposed transfer to FC Koln, apparently the guy who recommended the left back is Unirea’s coach Blaz Sliskovic, who talked directly to Koln’s trainer, Zvonimir Soldo. Sliskovic took over during the second half of season, but couldn’t avoid relegation.
A rumor for a few months now, a certainty starting today: Sixto Peralta leaves CFR Cluj mainly because of his huge salary for Liga I (375.000 Euros/season), but for a small one, if we think of the clubs and players the Romanian champions will meet next season, in the Champions League!
The club asked Peralta if he’d agree to a mutual termination of the current deal and the Argentinian agreed to move on, after two years spent in Romania. A classy player, a complete box-to-box midfielder, gifted with technique and vision above the average, someone who should have never missed CFR’s first eleven when fit, Peralta was too often this season considered just a rotation player, in my opinion, but I have to admit that, even though I admire his skills, he rarely made the kind of impact on a game everyone expected from him.
Another player offloaded by CFR right after completing the double is the Brazilian centre forward Nei, who will return to Al-Shabab, in spite of a couple of decisive performances and goals, in the final matches of the season. Nei collected 20 appearances in the league and scored 5 goals in the process.
- Surprising announcement from the Brazilian forward, hours ahead of FC Vaslui’s chance to get a trophy and finally repay Adrian Porumboiu’s financial efforts – the Romanian Cup final against CFR Cluj. Wesley said that his agent has five offers ready for him, three from Romania (definitely, one should be from CFR!) and two from abroad, and is looking to move on at the end of the season. Very poor timing, in my opinion, from the 30 years old, but this is what happens when the agent is there for a player just to move him from one club to another…
- Francisco Molinero has been released on a free transfer by Dinamo, after the Red Dogs aquired the Brazilian Helder, on loan, from Nancy. It seems that the 25 years old, who played in the past for Atletico Madrid, has some personal problems and asked for a two months long break from the club, but the Bucharest side was happier to get rid of him rather then support him in these difficult times, saving the 360.000 Euros that should have been paid until June 2012, when Molinero’s contract would have expired.
- Apparently Napoli expressed interest in Lacina Traore, but my guess is that this report only tried to speculate Roberto De Zerbi’s presence on loan at CFR Cluj, a player that the Romanian champions would like to have next season as well, so the press imagined a possible deal involving cash and a player exchange. Rubbish!
- CFR’s anchorman Gabriel Muresan will be watched tonight from the stands by two members of Dynamo Kyiv‘s staff. The 28 years old has been monitorred by Dynamo for a long time and is yet to find an agreement with CFR to extend his contract. Currently earning 80.000 Euros (a joke, considering he’s been vital for the club, yet he gets almost five times less than Peralta!), Muresan could use the Webster law in the summer and leave the club for a ridiculous sum!
Brought on a loan from Santos, with the option to make the deal permanent for 200.000 Euros, Aluisio Chaves Ribeiro Junior Moraes is probably the best deal in Gloria Bistrita’s history! The Brazilian forward, who came to Romania through Marius Sumudica’s still active contacts from Portugal, was on fire and impressed with every single appearance in Liga I. In 17 matches, he scored 9 goals, an impressive and decisive feat for Gloria’s survival in the league, which attracted interest from every single big club from Romania.
Obviously, Gloria moved quickly and paid the 200.000 Euros, offering the 23 years old a contract that has a release clause of 2 million Euros. And it won’t be a surprise to see it paid in a month or so ;-).
It seems that all the rumors regarding FC Cologne’s interest in the Romanian market could lead to another interesting transfer this summer. After the signing of Rapid’s Alexandru Ionita, Soldo’s team is helding talks with Unirea Alba Iulia – ready to return to the second division, after one season spent in Liga I – regarding the promising left back Bogdan Bucurica. The 23 years old, who has been watched this season by a couple of Russian clubs, awaits the clubs’ agreement to pass some tests and discuss personal terms.
According to Unirea’s president, the Romanian side wants a better percentage from the player’s future transfer, saying that Cologne is ready to pay around 1 million Euros at this point. In my opinion, the German club will pay a lot less, this guy is only fishing around…
A surprise move took place today, with Dinamo proud to announce the loan of Brazilian right wing back Helder da Silva Ferreira from Nancy, a player who made a nice impact in Romanian football playing for another Bucharest club, Rapid! Still wanted in Giulesti, Helder agreed to go to Rapid’s fierce rivals, where he’ll earn more than the 10.000 Euros/month he got last season, according to his agent, Florin Manea.
Helder featured in 28 matches for Rapid, scored two goals in the process and impressed with a nice combination of technique, strength and pace, but couldn’t convince Dinamo to pay around 800.000 Euros for a permanent deal. Also, his agent could have played this better and keep on negotiating, as Rapid could get back the three points lost against FC Timisoara and could take Dinamo’s place in Europa League next season!
The champion club has already started to prepare next season’s appearance in the Champions League. The first target: Cassio Vargas Barbosa, a Brazilian forward from Uniao Leiria. Cassio’s agent, Marcelo Lapatin, said that CFR already agreed to pay 900.000 Euros for the transfer and is now trying to satisfie the striker’s demands, who is looking at a three years long contract and should get a salary between 200 and 300.000 Euros per season.
At the moment, the Argentinian Sixto Peralta is the club’s highest earner, with just under 400.000 Euros, but CFR is trying to offload him for this reason, with Yssouf Kone – another well paid player – on the verge of leaving the club as well.
In January, Cassio (26) was a target for two other Romanian clubs, Steaua Bucharest and FC Vaslui.
- Ceahlaul – CFR Cluj 2-4 (Vasilache 19, Onciu 48 / E. Dica 40, Y. Kone 55, Peralta 62, Nei 91)
- Universitatea Craiova - Otelul 3-0 (Iliev 14, Prepelita 50, Barboianu 90)
- International – Steaua 0-2 (Stancu 21, Surdu 51)
- Politehnica Iasi – Unirea Urziceni 1-2 (Diarrassouba 6 / Onofras 62, Rusescu 82)
- FC Timisoara – FC Brasov 1-2 (Chiacu 62 / Savic 10, M. Cristescu 16)
- Rapid – Gloria Bistrita 2-1 (Ad. Iordache 26, Bozovic 69 / Ribeiro Moraes 61)
- Unirea Alba Iulia – Pandurii 0-1 (Cardoso 61)
- Astra Ploiesti – Gaz Metan Medias 0-0
- FC Vaslui - Dinamo 2-0 (Wesley 39, R. Costin 64)