CFR’s Lacina Traore has already been linked with more teams than the number of goals he’ll manage to score before he leaves the club that bought him for 40.000 Euros and won’t even discuss a deal if the negotiations start at 4 million Euros. Steaua’s Bogdan Stancu was a more expensive buy back in 2008, but somehow dribbled his way through Becali’s habit of announcing transfer fees that would make the masses marvel and the potential buyers laugh in disbelief. He’s now cheaper than Traore, less demanded than the Ivorian, but definitely the other option, if you’re looking for a striker with potential and insisting to buy from a strange market, like Romania’s. Or should this be quite the other way around?
- Victoria Branesti – FC Brasov 1-1 (Olariu 63 pen / Cristescu 71)
A fifth penalty in twelve rounds (not a bad ratio, but there’s no surprise, as the refs did help this team achieve promotion!) allowed Victoria take a lead against another struggling team, but Brasov showed strength and came back to claim a very important point in what promises to be a long relegation battle. Victoria remains an interesting team, pretty well organized, while Brasov deserves credit for every positive result, given the quality of the roster availble, after the incredible exodus that took place during the summer. Read more…
That is THE question, after Traore decided to go for personal glory on the Olimpico, refusing to offer Culio the chance to score his third game against AS Roma, after the wonderful brace from two years ago, and maybe denying his team the chance to get another great result in the Champions League.
Arsenal, Galatasaray, Hamburg, Udinese, Napoli, Liverpool. All these clubs have been linked with „CFR’s jewel”, as the club’s president likes to speak of Lacina Traore, the big forward who offered last night, against AS Roma, the kind of display that justifies both an affirmative and a negative answer to the above question. At 0-0, he had enough luck to evade Nicolas Burdisso, but, instead of offering an assist to Juan Culio, in a situation that demanded such a decision, chose to take a shot at goal, hitting the crossbar. He would go on to offer a solid display, tormenting Roma’s defenders with his rare combination of pace, strength and skill, hitting the bar once more with a powerful left footed effort from just outside the box and getting deserved praise from Claudio Ranieri, yet I feel we should get back to that key moment that defines a 20 years old who’s at a turning point in his career.
“I am not mad at Traore. A forward needs to be selfish!” – Arpad Paszkany, CFR’s owner
“I’ve already told my players that the guy who will go for the shot instead of a pass, in a similar play to Traore’s, can kiss his salary good-bye for the following three months” - Victor Piturca, former national team coach, now at Universitatea Craiova
Ok, some agree that forwards need to get their share of shot at/on goal (Cristiano Ronaldo took 58 shots at goal so far, scoring just twice in La Liga!) and there are top professionals who’d like to remind everyone that football is a team’s sport. So, maybe it’s right to work a bit on the question at hand and come up with another one: “How selfish can one football player be?”. Read more…
The round kicked-off with a surprise just for those who thought that everything’s fine at the champion club. Sportul exploited the visitiors’ arrogance and lack of determination, putting three past Nuno Claro, but could not end Mandorlini’s contract, well defended by a clause of 800.000 Euros. Bad news for the numerous players who thought that this was the way to get rid of their coach, starting with Lacina Traore, who finished an embarrassing display with a criminal attack that killed any hope of a fightback conducted by the once out-of-favor Sixto Peralta. Read more…
- Gaz Metan Medias topping the standings is something even I wasn’t expecting, although I predicted a good season from this well organized team. The Brazilian Eric de Oliveira scored his 7th goal in 4 matches (a wonderful free kick) and left the field with 20 minutes to go, losing the chance to try and make it four consecutive braces in this outstanding start of season!
Another small team tipped to do well, Otelul Galati, added an important win against the newly promoted FCM Targu Mures, and Dorinel Munteanu’s keeper, Grahovac, is the only one in the league with four clean sheets. Impressive!
- Things are going very bad for Unirea Urziceni, though, who’s yet to score a goal this season, and worrying for CFR Cluj, held to a draw at home by a team that will struggle to avoid relegation this season. Good debut from the Brazilian Rafael Bastos, though, who could play an important part this season, as the missing playmaker. The problem is that Mandorlini keeps on looking for the best tactical setup & formation, which is unacceptable, in my opinion, after almost a year in charge. Read more…
Definitely the most wanted player from Liga I, the Ivorian forward, who just missed out on the trip to South Africa, returned to Cluj determined to part ways with CFR. His statements are the opposite of what has been served to the media a week ago by club president Iuliu Muresan, who said that Traore won’t leave Cluj, in spite of the incredible competition for a place in the first eleven, following to the arrival of Sasha Bjelanovic, and the public interest from several clubs, including Arsenal, Napoli, Hamburg, Udinese, Gatalasaray or Rennes.
“I don’t want to stay for another year, even if I’ll get the chance to play Champions League football, I want to leave, I’m not going to spend all my life here”, said the 19 years old, who scored just six goals last season and had a rather mediocre campaign. His price tag is around 4 million Euros, a sum CFR was hoping to double in autumn, when the champions will be playing in the champions’ competition.
It’s official, Vicenza’s centre-forward will play Champions League football and earn a decent salary: 350.000 Euros per season. Demanded and convinced by Mandorlini, “Grande Sasa” agreed to a two years long contract, with the option to extend the deal for one more year and forced CFR to pay an important fee for a 31 years old: 950.000 Euros. Which means that CFR wants results in the near future, but also that one of the following guys – Yssouf Kone, Lacina Traore, Cristian Bud – has already packed his bags.
My bet is on Kone, who played way below his ability in the previous season, has a similar wage with Bjelanovic – huge, by Romanian standards! – and entered the last year of his contract, lacking any interest from other clubs. So, if Kone gives up the remaining salary, he’ll probably be allowed to move on a free transfer, which won’t happen with Traore (too expensive for what he can offer right now) or Bud (wanted by FC Bruges, but not desperately enough to meet a 2 million Euros asking price!).
- 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!
First of all, let me say “I’m sorry” to all those who thought “What? Milito is Romanian?”. I’m talking about International Curtea de Arges and Cosmin Bacila, the right back reinvented as a midfielder/winger, who just scored his fifth goal of the season for a team that will fight for survival until the very last round. Bacila made a late debut in the first division, playing mainly as right back for Farul Constanta, a team he left last summer to join the newly promoted International. The hard-working type of player, useful in both phases of the game, the 27 years old feels so good in a 4-1-4-1 system that he managed to become the club’s top scorer, with the four goals scored in the second half of the season. Let me just write down some of the players who have scored five goals this season: Bogdan Stancu (striker, Steaua), Yssouf Kone (striker, CFR Cluj), Lacina Traore (striker, CFR Cluj), Mike Temwanjera (striker, FC Vaslui), Lucian Raduta (striker, Rapid).
Now, I’m not saying that Bacila is a top class footballer, but maybe we should think twice before we talk about the millions Steaua, CFR, Rapid or FC Vaslui ask for their “star players”…