The “director” is Mircea Rednic, former Liga I champion with Dinamo and Rapid. The setting is in Azerbaidjan, where Rednic tries to interrupt Neftchi Baku’s supremacy with FK Khazar Lankaran, a team he took over in July 2010, signing a two seasons long deal, with the sights set on winning the title. After 19 rounds, he’s just one point behind Neftci and fully convinced that with a slightly stronger side he could deliver even at the end of his first season in charge.
In December, he returned to Romania on an active vacation, stating his interest in over a dozen players from Liga I and entering negotiations with several teams, including his former clubs. It wasn’t enough that he had already in the team four Romanian players (Iordache – 30 years old, centre back; Arbanas – 27, utility defender; Doman – 22, attacking midfielder; Stelian Stancu – 29, right midfielder) and two other players recruited from Liga I (Romanovs – 32, goalkeeper; Parks – 29, striker), he wanted more. A lot more. Slowly, he started to work on his long shortlist, checking one target after another and, at this point, with no sign that he’s satisfied, has closed deals with Dinamo, Rapid, Pandurii and Gloria Bistrita and could return to Azerbaidjan with 6 new players from Liga I. Here they are:
- Andrei Muresan - defensive midfielder, 25, bought from Gloria Bistrita, although he was also a target for Rapid Bucharest!
- Carlos Cesinha - left winger, 30, bought from Rapid, where he looked classy at times, but had became inconsistent and prone to injuries lately.
- Carlos Cardoso - left back, 25, bought from Pandurii Targu Jiu. Was also a target for Dinamo!
- Nicolae Musat - left back, 24, loaned from Dinamo, with a buying option in the summer
- Adrian Scarlatache - right back/centre back, 24, loaned from Dinamo, with a buying option in the summer
- Georgian Paun - forward, 25, loaned from Dinamo, with a buying option in the summer
If the last four will probably be utility/reliable players, Muresan and Cesinha can be considered very good deals, with the anchorman very useful in adding steel in midfield and organizing the build-up and the Brazilian an excellent forward on his day! All the deals required an investment of around one million Euros, so, if it’s true that Rednic has another half of million available, it won’t be a surprise to see others joining the colony, having the chance not just to earn more money than in Romania, but also to win some trophies…
Transfer deadline day in Romania. Did Balotelli really sign for Man. City or FC Brasov has a chance to get him?
Can Steaua also take the corner flags from Unirea Urziceni’s arena, after signing half of its team? Is Dinamo ready to sign at least one decent defender? Could Rapid waste another million on a useless Portuguese striker? Did Mandorlini manage to bring all his 35 years old favorite Italian players? If you’re dying to know the answers, forget about Sky Sport’s special reports and keep on coming back. You’ll be surprised how many superstars can be signed on a free transfer in a single day!
18.46 Buying from Serie A isn’t the best idea. Adrian Pit, making his debut for Universitatea Cluj, got sent off in just 10 minutes: a dive + a foul.
17.55 Love always wins! Vasile Maftei has reached an agreement with his former club, but now can only hope that Rapid will do the same with Unirea Urziceni, who has a cash-loving-owner. As I said: love always wins! Read more…
After escaping the threat represented by Gigel Bucur, who moved from Timisoara to Kuban this winter, Pantelis Kapetanos used the first official match of the season to break away from the other players that are fighting for the Romanian golden boot award. He scored Steaua’s only goal in the surprising home loss against Ceahlaul and was the most dangerous player on the pitch for the red and blue outfit in a match that got off to a perfect start, but ended up as a real nightmare. Read more…
- Georgian Paun (24) will play for Politehnica Iasi until the end of the season. Initially, the deal was presented as a loan until the summer, but recent reports speak about a definitive move, with Dinamo selling Paun in exchange of the 50% they would have had to pay Poli Iasi in case they would have sold Adrian Cristea (26).
- CFR Cluj finally signed Roberto De Zerbi (30). Demanded by coach Andrea Mandorlini, Napoli’s attacking midfielder is delaying his arrival in Romania, as he’s still nursing an old injury, and the medical problems of the first Italian player to feature in Liga I lead to a strange contract, which states that De Zerbi will get 10.000 EUR for each match played, until the end of the season.
- Second division outfit Universitatea Cluj loaned Josias Basso Lisboa (20) from Reggina, until the end of the season. The Brazilian central defender had been playing on loan at Ravenna, in Serie C, and stated that he was convinced to come to Romania by fellow countryman Gabriel Texeira Machado (20), a striker who surprisingly joined Universitatea, after a short spell in Switzerland, at Grasshoppers Zurich.
- Universitatea Craiova signed Ivan Paunovic (23), from Srem. The Serbian midfielder agreed to a short contract, until the end of the season, but with an option to extend it for four more years. Interesting enough, the player brought in Romania by FIFA agent Marcel Popescu had been training for the past couple of weeks with Astra Ploiesti, but failed to agree terms when it came to put pen to paper.
- Although his move to Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt was officially announced, Vasile Buhaescu (22) switched sides today and went on loan to a second division club, Concordia Chiajna. The striker, a former U21 player for Romania, belongs to FC Vaslui, but would have had no realistic chance to feature in the second half of season, given the tough competition for a place in the team and the club’s ambition to try and mount a serious title challenge.
- Dinamo and Astra Ploiesti, teams that were sharing the rights of two players, Georgian Paun (24, forward) and Eugen Craciun (23, full back), found an agreement that makes Paun a Dinamo player and transfers Craciun to Astra. If Craciun will continue to play for Astra, where he was on loan for the past two years anyway, Paun was re-directed to Politehnica Iasi, on loan until the end of the season, after a week or spent in Dinamo’s training camp from Turkey.