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 rather a sign that Giuseppe is a proud man, who doesn’t want to ask his son, Marco, for some cash, when he needs it. Sorry for the strange and maybe offending opening line (ok, and for the deceiving title as well!), I hope Marco won’t kick me with his chest in the head, but the guy that made the connection between FC Brasov and the experienced Italian coach must have taken a lot of money to convince Materazzi senior to come to Romania. Not to mention that the former coach of Lazio or Sporting Lisbon (he also trained a number of mediocre/unknown squads lately) has been challenged to qualify for a place in Europe right away. I’ll explain everything:
FC Brasov parted ways with 17 (seventeen) players this summer, 5 regular starters went to Rapid, 1 to Steaua, 1 to Dinamo, 1 to CFR, 1 retired, all the good guys that missed out on Europa League in the past to seasons are gone. The team can count now on two defenders, one midfielder and two strikers who have at least some experience in Liga I, and I consider this team the first relegation candidate for next season. Which, by the way, starts in less than a month. So this should better be a nice practical joke, staged by FC Brasov’s official website and the top newspapers in the country!
“Mourinho will bring Real Madrid to play against the Becali family”. We can agree that reading such a statement without laughing is impossible, but it was followed by Steaua’s official request to have a game postponed in August and Ioan Becali’s (the agent – cousin of the guy who had made that statement) confirmation that the match will take place on August 22. The joke could be on us, really, even if, in spite of a very big family, the Becalis will field against Mourinho’s stars Steaua’s finest players. And we should not ignore the generous discount offered by The Special One, who apparently used his influence to reducd Real’s demands from 1,5 million Euros to just half of milion. A true friend, Mou, what can I say?
Steaua’s anchorman Ovidiu Petre left Romania today, after agreeing a move to Al Nasr, where he’ll team up with another national team player, Razvan Cocis. Both were demanded by Walter Zenga, who said in a recent interview that he would definitely enjoy coaching Romania in the future. So, when Petre speaks about an offer he couldn’t have refused, should we think at least for just a couple of seconds that he makes this move thinking about the future, not the money? I’m not that bad for a PR job, right? And I’m also cheap, Ovidiu!
CFR left for the first training camp of the summer, leaving behind some interesting names, who aren’t part of Mandorlini’s plans for the coming season. The central midfielder Sixto Peralta tops this list, a player who gets 375.000 Euros per year and thinks that his deal will expire in June 2011. CFR’s board thinks otherwise, stating that this summer they had the option to extend the deal for one more year and refused to do it. Anyway, looking at CFR’s lack of creative players in midfield it’s possible that Mandorlini could be really happy to see the former Inter Milano player still at the club, when he returns to Romania…
On the black list and looking at least for a good destination to spend a year on loan are Rade Veljovic, Ousmane Viera, Vitinha, Dario Flores and Diego Ruiz, all good players by Liga I standards, with centre back Viera showing also some potential to develop in the near future.
One training session was enough for Victor Piturca to consider the skills and potential of Adin Dzafic not good enough for Steaua. The player’s catchy nickname, the decent scoring record at Velez Mostar (13 goals in 27 matches), the best performances on DVD, the player’s role in Bosnia’s U21, all this offered him the chance to train just once in Steaua’s outfit. Let’s face it, things are going well for the boy, who was also watched three times by Unirea Urziceni earlier this year, but couldn’t convince them to make a move…
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!).