Raised in Gheorghe Hagi’s Academy, the U19 international Cristian Gavra was called to Amsterdam to train for a week with Ajax. Another hot prospect from Viitorul Constanta, Bogdan Taru, went with him, but if the central defender returned to Romania, the promising striker was informed that he will stay for another week.
Born in 1993, Gavra was a key player in the U19 alongside Taru, in a generation praised for reaching the Elite Round in the qualifying campaign for the European Championship, but later accused for failing to get the tickets for the final tournament. He’s one of the 19 players from Hagi’s Academy who got called up to Romania’s different youth national teams since the beginning of 2012, but could become the first to “graduate” and make the step towards a very big club. Best of luck to him!
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?
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.
Lacina Traore’s lack of focus and consistency, after the first transfer rumors appeared in the press, have made him lose his place in the team, in favor of Cristian Bud, a 25 years old who was playing second league football a couple of years ago.
With the interest from clubs like Arsenal, Napoli, Udinese, Hamburg or Galatasaray likely to fade away or at least affect an asking price of 4 to 5 million Euros, media reports have been trying to compensate somehow his poor second half of the season, by keeping Traore in the spotlight.
Nice work, guys, but maybe you should also look after this talented youngster and get him back in shape, not just follow the club’s interest to sell him at any cost (obviously, not for any transfer fee!) in the summer…
- Steaua’s centre-forward Pantelis Kapetanos (26) has earned his first call up to the Greek national team, for the friendly against Senegal, scheduled on the 3rd of March. Not the most eye-catching forward in the league, Kapetanos impressed in the first half of season and proved a vital player and a clinical finisher for Steaua, scoring 9 goals in 11 starts for the red and blue outfit.
- Not 100% fit after his back injury that forced him to lose completely the first half of season in Romania, FC Timisoara’s centre forward Dejan Rusic (27) missed out on a transfer to Olimpija Ljubljana.
- Joao Paulo Pinto Ribeiro (29) has been declared a free player by the Professional League and the striker who had a terrible scoring record at Rapid (3 goals in 40 matches!) is free to sign with Leixoes.
- Steaua Bucharest presents Florentin Matei (17) as one of the club’s hottest prospects. Club owner Gigi Becali says that the kid has a bright future at the Bucharest club, but, at this age, the skilled attacking midfielder isn’t getting any space to accelerate his development, not even in Steaua’s reserve team, which is playing in the Romanian second division…