- 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.
- Andres Felipe De Souza Galiassi (29) ended his loan spell at Kasimpasa and agreed to move to Unirea Alba Iulia, until the end of the season. The Brazilian centre-back still belongs to CFR Cluj, where he collected 71 matches in the first division, before being sent to Turkey, alongside Argentinian centre-forward Diego Ruiz (29).
- After completing the loans of Vasile Buhaescu (21 years old, right midfielder & forward), Hristijan Kirovski (24 years old, striker) and Neven Markovic (22 years old, left back), all from FC Vaslui, Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt takes also on loan Arthur Patras (21 years old, left winger). The U21 international from Moldova belongs to FC Timisoara and spent the first half of season on loan to Otelul Galati.
- Julius Woobay (25) returns to Cyprus, after three consecutive seasons in Romania. He will play at Apollon Limassol until the summer, on loan from Universitatea Craiova. Before joining the Romanian club in 2007, the attacking midfielder from Sierra Leone had also played over 60 matches for Nea Salamina.
- Leixoes announced an agreement with Rapid’s out-of-favor striker Joao Paulo Pinto Ribeiro (29). The Portuguese player is still in Romania, though, where he will try to find an agreement to end his current deal. Rapid has been trying to offload the player for some time now and would relish the opportunity to stop paying a huge salary for a mediocre striker, who scored 3 goals in 40 matches.
According to prosport.ro, Romanian international Razvan Cocis (26) will move to Portsmouth as a free player, after three seasons spent at Lokomotiv Moscow. Cocis is an attacking midfielder and was a regular starter for the National Team undet Victor Piturca. Lately, though, he had fell out of favor in Russia and struggled to catch the eye of new coach, Razvan Lucescu. He has 32 caps and 2 goals for Romania and, interesting fact, he spent three seasons at each club he has played for until now: Universitatea Cluj, Sheriff Tiraspol and Lokomotiv. Another interesting fact: he hasn’t played in the Romanian first division and also refused a return home this winter, in spite of several offers from all the big clubs.
Cocis is the type of hard-working midfielder, attacking minded, and can cover almost any position, showing nice versatility, tactical discipline, good work ethic and decent technique. My problem with him: I cannot put my finger on his precise role, the place on the pitch from where he could be most effective. Right footed, lacks the vision and the passing precision for a place in the middle of the park, but his stamina and workrate would definitely make him a valuable box-to-box midfielder. I’d see him as a central-right midfielder in a midfield of five, because he’s not gifted enough to play as central attacking midfielder or as a winger.
Anyway, probably manager Avram Grant saw something in him and has a scenario for this player already. The good news is that, after five years, another Romanian player makes it into the Premier League and, this time, I am sure that he will only prove that you can also find in Romania players that are serious, disciplined, who can adjust to the league and won’t cause off the pitch problems.
Update: The player will get 700.000 EUR per year, for the next three seasons, but has a release-for-free clause in his contract, in case Pompey won’t avoid relegation.
- Bogdan Mara (32) stayed unemployed for just a day. The experienced winger, recently released by CFR Cluj, signed for Iraklis (11th place in the Greek first division) until June 2011. He’ll get 180.000 EUR per season and will be helped to adjust to the new environment by former Steaua and Kaiserslautern centre-forward Victoras Iacob, while playing alongside footballers like Sam Dalla Bona or Matias Lequi.
- Rapid Bucharest signed Serbian defender Nikola Beljic (25). He rejoins former team-mates from OFK Belgrade, Djordje Ivelja (24, central midfielder) and Vladimir Bozovic (28, left back) and will spend the next three seasons at the Bucharest side. Beljic was in the last six months of his current deal and Rapid paid a 50.000 UER transfer fee to get him now.
- Rapid also announced to have agreed terms with both Ventspils and Edgars Gauracs (21). The striker is expected in Romania tomorrow, when he should sign the contract. The Latvian U21 international comes on loan until the end of the season and Rapid has a buying option in the summer.
- Dinamo Bucharest allowed George Curca (28) to return to Farul Constanta, where he had spent the previous nine seasons. The goalkeeper was on loan until the summer, when Dinamo could have made the deal permanent in exchange of 250.000 EUR.
The surprise of the first half of season signed another important player, after Lucian Sanmartean (29): Bulgarian right back Zhivko Milanov (25) signed a contract with the club owned by former international referee Adrian Porumboiu. The defender comes from Levski Sofia, where he collected over 120 appearances in the league, and is a Bulgarian international, with 14 caps. He signed a three years long contract and FC Vaslui apparently paid 350.000 EUR for his transfer.
Hristo Yovov refused to sign for Steaua and returned to Levski’s training camp. The problem wasn’t the new self-imposed salary cap at Steaua (120.000 EUR / season), but the cautious approach of the Bucharest side. The latest poor investments in foreign players (I’ve explained in a previous post the reasons) determined the red and blue outfit to offer only six months deal with an option to extend afterwards.