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Posts Tagged ‘Lacina Traore’

CFR Cluj tries to keep alive the interest in Lacina Traore

April 22, 2010 1 comment

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… 😉

Yssouf Kone is up for grabs

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

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…

Traore’s interesting, but that’s never enough to be transferred

January 18, 2010 1 comment

Arsenal, Udinese, Napoli. There are the teams that CFR Cluj presented until now as very interested in signing the Ivorian striker. Back in 2007, when he was playing for Stade D’Abidjan, there was a race between CFR and Sparta Prague and it seems that Traore made a good decision…

In January 2008, he came to Romania, but signed a contract during the summer, when he turned 18. Sent to play in the third division, managed to score there 15 goals in 13 matches and was handed a debut in CFR’s senior team and in the top flight by Dusan Uhrin Jr, on 4th of April 2009. Since then, he played in 19 matches, scoring five goals in the process. He also collected six appearances in the Europa League group stage, scoring two goals (against FC Kobenhavn and, ironically, Sparta Prague!). Although the naumbers aren’t impressive, he is the club’s top scorer in both competitions at this point.

Interesting enough, the guy wasn’t initially on the registration list that was about to be sent to UEFA, but he made it in the final days, after his only second match played at the beginning of the season, when he scored the winner in the 1-0 home victory against Otelul Galati.

The guy has a nice combination of pace and skill for a player of his size, 198 cm and 85 kg, and isn’t the centre-forward type. Instead, he likes to run the channels and to be served ball into feet, which makes sense if you think of Arsenal’s interest, right? He’s also naturally better than most of his opponents in the air, even though he needs to improve in terms of strength, which should help him both in the aerial duels as well as on the ground.

Traore’s estimated value (by his own club) is 4-5 mil. EUR. So, I believe Udinese is out of the question, given the Italians’ famous scouting network and their history of bringing into Serie A cheap talent from Africa and South America. Arsenal? I think the age, not the price would be the problem. Has Wenger gone mad and started to buy such old players already? 🙂 Napoli? Well, I have nothing against it really, although I’d expect the Italians to try and bring in players with a higher profile, given their excellent season and always growing ambitions.

Today’s press

January 12, 2010 Leave a comment
  • CFR’s owner Arpad Paszkany denied all the rumors related to Arsenal’s interest in Lacina Traore (19). He admitted instead that Udinese is keeping tabs on the striker, who scored 4 goals in the league so far this season.
  • The American that Steaua is trying to sign is Josh Tudela (25), a central midfielder who played his last official match last summer, for LA Galaxy. He could become the second player bought by the Bucharest side from Major League Soccer, after the Colombian left footed midfielder Juan Carlos Toja (24), bought in 2008 from FC Dallas. Tudela comes as a free agent and will have to convince the staff in the next couple of months that he deserves a contract.
  • Mamadou Diakite (24), a central defensive midfielder from Belgian outfit Excelsior Mouscron, is coming to Romania to see Rapid’s facilities and discuss the terms of a possible deal.
  • Steaua keeps pressing FC Brasov, hoping to find a deal that would help the Bucharest club get rid of an unwanted player and strengthen the squad with a new aquisition. It seems that Steaua has offered the out-of-favor Dayro Moreno (24) on loan, after the initial 500.000 EUR offer for Portuguese full-back Rui Duarte (29) had been turned down, hoping to get FC Brasov’s board in a better mood. Dayro Moreno came to Bucharest from Once Caladas with the “wonderkid” label, but rarely lived up to the expectations and neither severe punishment nor the credit received from the new coach and management managed to change his attitude and approach.
  • Universitatea Craiova released the experienced utility man Florin Soava (31), although the player has been a regular (at left back, in central defense or in the midfield line) since his return to Romania, at the beginning of 2009. Soava had played in Russia since 2004, with spells at Spartak Moscow, Krylia Sovetov and Khimki.

Today’s press

January 9, 2010 Leave a comment
  • Gheorghe “Gigel” Bucur (29) is very close to a move away from Timisoara. The prolific striker (17 goals in 2007-2008, 16 goals in 2008-2009 and 8 goals midway through the current season) is most likely to join his former coach from Sportul Studentesc, Dan Petrescu, who is currently managing second league club Kuban Krasnodar in Russia.
  • The Australian group from Universitatea Craiova will suffer some changes this winter, as the club is trying to part ways with defnders Joshua Rose (28) and Josh Mitchell (25). Rose can play anywhere on the left, but is a mediocre midfielder/winger, so is more useful as an attacking left back. Has been a consistent player for Universitatea, playing 113 games in the blue and white outfit and scoring 9 goals in the process. Mitchell is also left footed and can play as left back in a flat back four or as a central-left defender.  Has featured in 107 games in 4 and a half seasons and is currently in a conflict with Universitatea’s board. If both players will leave, Universitatea will keep only two Aussies in the squad: tenacious midfielder Spase Dilevski (24) and striker Michael Baird (26).
  • The board from CFR Cluj has been advised by former team captain Eugen Trica to accept any decent bid for talented forward Lacina Traore. Good advice, as Traore is currently followed by several important clubs from England and Germany and CFR has missed several opportunites so far to cash in on other good players that now are feeling jaded and playing below their ability. Sebastian Dubarbier and Juan Culio impressed last season when playing in the Champions League’s group stage, but CFR refused to lower inflated demands when the offers came in and now have every reason to regret that, as both players seem unable to raise their performances back to that level.

Today’s press

January 5, 2010 Leave a comment
  • According to FIFA agent Cristea Opria, a Top 5 club from 1.Bundesliga apparently offered around 2,5 mil. EUR for Gabriel Torje (Right winger, Dinamo Bucharest, born 1989). Dinamo refused and would say “yes” for 4 mil. EUR.
  • Steaua and FC Vaslui are trying to exchange two key players: central defender and team captain Sorin Ghionea with the prolific midfielder Marko Ljubinkovic. It seems that Ghionea refuses the move and waits for an offer from abroad, having an attractive asking price given his quality, experience and age (only 30): 200.000 EUR.
  • Steaua is trying to sign Bulgarian centre-back Zhivko Zhelev. The 30 years old is out of favor at Otelul Galati and in the last six months of his current contract, but also suspended after he protested for not getting paid according to his contract. The deal will probably finalize, although Otelul refuses to let him go for free at Steaua, but on the other hand will never get 200.000 EUR for a player in a similar situation.
  • Romanian press quotes http://www.tuttomercatoweb.com, who announces Arsenal’s interest for Lacina Traore from CFR Cluj and an offer of 4 mil. EUR. CFR’s president, Iuliu Muresan, denied the rumor, but confirmed the interest from abroad and also a “concrete offer from an important club”. The press talks about Napoli and a failed attempt to sign the promising striker for 1,2 mil. EUR.
  • The Dutch coach Mark Wotte is expected to sign with Universitatea Craiova, after the club’s owner failed to convince former NT coach Victor Piturca. Wotte should get around 150.000 EUR per season. In case the deal won’t be finalized, Craiova also looks at another Dutch trainer – Luc Nijholt.

Didi to Leixoes

January 4, 2010 Leave a comment

CFR Cluj loaned the striker until the end of the current season. It’s not a loss for the Romanian outfit, as Didi (Cleidimar Magalhães Silva) never made it back into the team, after a long injury that seriously affected his past two seasons.

Considered one of the best players in the league a couple of years ago, the creative forward, who plays best as a second striker, will try to help Leixoes avoid relegation and will return to Cluj for the last year of his contract, which is due to expire in June 2011.

Didi featured so far in 52 league games for CFR scoring 12 goals, but faced tough competition for a place in the team this year (only seven appearances, all as a sub), with  Yssouf Kone – probably the best CFWD in the league – and the talented Lacina Traore always ahead of him.

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