Still trying to persuade Maurizio Trombetta, Vladimir Petrovic or Viorel Moldovan to take over after Sabau’s resignation, FC Timisoara still have on the transfer list the Costa Rica international Winston Parks, who scored an outstanding goal against Switzerland in midweek. The striker, who has been underperforming most of the times last season, has a price tag of 1 million Euros, but Timisoara’s officials say that the player is expected to resume training with the club after the summer holiday, if he won’t find an interested team, and could get a second chance, if he impresses the new coach in pre-season.
- Lorient signed Sebastian Dubarbier (23), from CFR Cluj. For 2 mil. EUR, the French outfit landed a very good deal, as the Argentinian left winger has the qualities to adjust to the Ligue 1 style of play and could further increase his market value over the next couple of years. Dubarbier leaves CFR after 57 matches played and 11 goals scored in the league and, except this first half of season, when he clearly felt frustrated by the club’s refusal to sell him and played below his ability, deserves a place in the top 10 foreign footballers that ever played in Liga I.
- Alexandru Ionita‘s (20) move to FC Koln has been finalized, although surprising reports still appear in the press, regarding interest from Italy and France. The striker was in Germany yesterday, where he passed the medical exam, while the Bundesliga outfit pushed all the way to finish the deal, in spite of continuous bargaining (Turkish market style) from Rapid. In the end, Koln agreed to everything (Rapid even asked for an extra 5% as training&education fee, although Ionita was a product of Rapid’s youth system!) and will pay 2,5 mil. EUR for the U21 international, will pay the 5% in the summer and will also leave Ionita in Bucharest until the end of the season. Coach Zvonimir Soldo explained: “We’ve been watching him since his debut for the first team, I believe he’s a very talented player and will feature in my plans for the coming season”.
- Unirea Alba Iulia completed the loan of Ramon Nunez (24) from Cruz Azul, in exchange of 25.000 EUR. The central midfielder will stay in Romania until the summer, when he’s expected to play for Honduras at the World Cup, with Cruz Azul hoping that his presence in Europe and performances from South Africa will help them sell the player to a bigger club.
- Universitatea Craiova loaned experienced left back Silviu Balace (31) from FC Vaslui, until the end of the season. The once promising defender, famous for his resemblance with Pavel Nedved, both in physical appearance and style of play, was out of favor at FC Vaslui, who also managed to buy this winter a Bulgarian international on his position, Zhivko Milanov.
- Cristian Pulhac (25) moves to Spain, after Dinamo agreed terms with Real Valladolid, in a rather surprising deal, for the following reasons: the secret was extremely well guarded and nothing appeared in the press until now, Pulhac returned this season after a long lay-off and rarely played above average, and the Spanish club should pay 700.000 EUR, although the player had “transfer pass” for 500.000 EUR. I was right to doubt this one! In fact, Pulhac returned this evening to Dinamo’s training camp, as the Spaniards completed another deal in the meantime – the loan of Asier del Horno.
- Cristian Sapunaru (25) agreed to return on loan to Rapid Bucharest, the club that had sold him to FC Porto, although he was also requested in Greece, by Iraklis Thesalloniki. Sapunaru was facing a long spell on the sidelines and will play for Rapid until the summer.
- Mihai Onicas (20), one of the players Steaua tried to promote this season, will move to Politehnica Iasi until the summer. The U21 Romanian international had a promising start of season, playing both in the league and in Europe, but faded away and should face a tougher competition for the anchorman position, after Ovidiu Petre’s return from injury.
- Alexandru Ionita (20), Rapid’s hottest prospect, is also wanted by Racing Club Lens. Apparently, the French club has been monitorring the player since October and is ready to offer the same transfer fee 2,5 mil. EUR like FC Koln. The difference could be made by one very important detail for Rapid: who would agree to pay now and leave the player in Bucharest until the end of the season? Anyway, Rapid’s officials just announced that the player is in Germany, where he’s discussing terms with FC Koln!
- Former Sporting Lisbon striker Marius Niculae (28) is a target for Portsmouth – who recently signed another Romanian international, Razvan Cocis – and Pymouth. Dinamo asks for 1,5 mil. EUR, an important fee for both clubs. And I personally doubt that Niculae would consider such a move to one of the two teams, on such short notice.
- Sebastian Dubarbier (23) could make a surprising and rather un-expected move to France, according to the Romanian press. Apparently, the Argentinian winger is negotiating a deal with Lorient, who’s ready to pay 1,5 mil. EUR. Although the player has been playing below his ability lately, we’re talking about the guy CFR wanted to sell for 8-10 mil. EUR, about a year ago…
- The Dayro Moreno case took a new turn, as the player looks very determined to leave Romania. In the time spent here, he tried to convince Steaua’s board to accept a bid from Once Caldas, although the Bucharest side had already shook hands with FC Timisoara. Moreno held talks with Timisoara, but surprised everyone with his demands. Knowing what the club is ready to offer (around 200.000 EUR / season), the attacking midfielder asked 300.000 EUR / season, while at Steaua he was getting only 60.000 EUR / season. His strategy angered Timisoara’s president Marian Iancu, who decided to withdraw from any negotation and Moreno returned to Colombia, where he could get good news (Steaua accepts an inferior offer from Once Caldas) or a bad news (Steaua suspends the player for the reminder of his contract).
- The veteran defender Cosmin Contra (34) is looking forward to a return to his beloved club FC Timisoara. Only a reserve player at Getafe in the first half of season, Contra is tempted by a return home given Timisoara’s chances of winning the title. This won’t be a premiere for the expert right back, as he did it once before, when he was an Atletico Madrid player, back in 2005.
- Steaua has not given up on two of its targets and the club is pushing hard for a deal with AEL Limassol regarding central defender Edwin Ouon (29), desperately wanted by coach Mihai Stoichita, after the red and blue outfit parted ways with Ionut Rada and skipper Sorin Ghionea. Steaua raised its offer from 300.000 EUR to 700.000 EUR. The same transfer fee could be paid also for FC Brasov’s right back, Rui Duarte (29). The Portuguese is probably the best player in the league on this position and is currently in a middle of a scandal with his club, having refused to return to Romania and start training for two weeks now.
- Gheorghe Grozav (19) has become officially a Standard Liege player. The promising winger signed a three years long deal on January 20 and the Belgian club has the option to extend it for another two seasons.
- Steaua’s skipper and long-serving player (eight consecutive seasons for the red and blue outfit) Sorin Ghionea (30) rejoins former coach Oleg Protasov at FC Rostov. He agreed to a three years long contract and will earn 300.000 EUR per season at the Russian club.Rostov played just 100.000 EUR for his transfer.
- CFR Cluj and Andre Leao (24) parted ways and the Portuguese central midfielder will join Pacos Ferreira, after agreeing to a three years long contract. Bought from Beira-Mar in 2007 for 250.000 EUR, he was recently released on a free transfer, after collecting only 25 matches in the first division for the Romanian club.
- Rapid Bucharest completed the loan deal of Latvian striker Edgars Gauracs (21). The Romanian club paid 50.000 EUR and has an option to make the deal permanent for another 450.000 EUR in the summer.
- Cristian Daminuta (19) is trying to take back previous statements released in the Romanian press, which have angered Inter Milano’s officials. Now training with Dinamo Bucharest, Daminuta was quoted saying that he never wants to return to Inter, but now he says that he was only angry about the unfair balance in the press between his agitated nightlife and good performances for the Primavera squad. Of course, he added that it would be a dream come true to play for Inter (probably thinking about the expiring date of his contract, which is June 2013, and the chance of a looong suspension). Although he made his debut in the Romanian first division when he was only sixteen, the defensive midfielder / central defender played only five games as a senior so far – two for Timisoara and three for Modena, in Serie B, where he was loaned by Inter.
- Dayro Moreno (24) seems destined to continue playing in Romania, where he recently said that he will refuse to return. He did return, last night, and it seems that the negotiation with FC Timisoara will go very smoothly. The Viola club has already an agreement with Steaua over the transfer fee (450.000 EUR plus taxes), while the Colombian attacking midfielder will have the chance to earn 12.000 EUR per month, 7.000 EUR more than he was getting paid at Steaua, after he suffered an important wage cut earlier this season.
- Cristian Fabbiani (26) will have to find quickly another club or he will have to return against his will in Romania, in order to respect his current deal with CFR Cluj. Not that he’s wanted there, but the player’s agent Luciano Duthu knows it’s the only way his client will get paid and, at the same time, won’t risk a suspension. And he will get paid well!, because El Ogro earns at CFR 350.000 EUR/season, a deal signed in 2007 and justified only in the first season, when the centre-forward scored 11 goals in 28 matches. Overweight and attitude problems forced two consecutive loan deals, to Newell’s Old Boys (5 goals in 15 matches) and River Plate (2 goals in 25 macthes), and without having them solved in the meantime, the Argentinian has no future at CFR Cluj.
Steaua’s captain, Sorin Ghionea (30), is very close to a move to Russian first division, after the Bucharest side accepted a 100.000 EUR bid for the experienced centre-back. If the player will accept personal terms with FC Rostov, which is very likely, he will leave Steaua after eight consecutive seasons and almost 130 matches in the league for the red and blue outfit. In Russia, he’ll get to work again with coach Oleg Protasov and I believe that every coach who got the chance to train Ghionea in the past wouldn’t think twice, not at this incredible price. Ghionea has quality, experience, leadership, solid work ethic and all these should compensate for the indeed visible loss of pace and agility, especially at a club like Rostov. Good deal for the Russians!
This was a hit back in 2008, when CFR managed to snap the striker from Rosenborg and Kone, in spite of a rather mediocre scoring record in Liga I, gained respect for some of his performances and is still considered among the best foreign footballers that ever played in Romania.
Although involved in the African Cup of Nations with Burkina Faso (10 minutes played against Cote D’Ivoire so far), Kone is very present in Romania as well, being the surprising target of a series of attacks from CFR’s usually quiet and discrete owner, Arpad Paszkany. For the past few days, the guy repeatedly accused Kone of complacency and, in case that was too subtle, spoke about his wish of an imminent departure of the centre-forward.
This might seem strange (as CFR wouldn’t say no to selling Lacina Traore and yet is very interested in winning another title), but it’s just a direct method of attracting attention for a player who currently probably lacks offers. And the player definitely could have done more in the first half of season and is probably the highest earner at the club, while almost any decent offer that should come in could satisfy CFR, who paid only 600.000 EUR to Rosenborg.
Looking over his scoring record in the league, you can agree with Paszkany: 9 goals in 28 appearances in the first season, followed by 4 goals in 8 games this season, isn’t enough, given the current level of the Romanian first division. And CFR can definitely find a player who can provide better numbers and won’t ask for a similar wage to Kone’s, while still making a profit out of this deal, by offloading the guy even for just 1 million EUR, a sum which several clubs could easily spend during this January window for an established striker…