Yssouf Kone comes after a mediocre season – six goals scored in the league – and received criticism from CFR’s otherwise discrete owner, Arpad Paszkany, who had every reason to expect better from what was one of the most impressive buys in Romania, in recent years. Snatched from Rosenborg at an excellent price in 2008 – 600.000 Euros -, as the player had entered the last six months of his contract, Kone could earn again another move and a bigger salary without too much effort. With his current deal set to expire in June 2011, the 28 years old is, according to some press reports, a target for Birmingham City, who are ready to offer 1 million Euros. CFR’s president admitted that such an offer was on his table for two weeks now – without saying the name of the club -, but would prefer to have the player in the Champions League group stage, hoping for solid performances, determined by the player’s wish to impress. Still, a slightly improved offer could change things, given the arrival of Bjelanovic this summer and the presence of a number of offensive options in the squad, such as Traore, Bud, Hora and Deac.
Birmingham City made two important signings this summer, spending an impressive 12 million pounds on the likes of Foster and Zigic, but the club’s chief negotiator, Peter Pannu, admitted that manager Alex Mc Leish still hopes of adding four other names to the current squad. The condition: “We are hoping that the relevant clubs can agree on valuations that are reasonable and realistic”.
PS Kone, in 2008, after scoring against Chelsea, in the Champions League: “My dream is to play in the Premier League”