City paid 3.5 million Euros to make the deal permanent and, according to the keeper, he will stay in Manchester “this year and the following two”. 30% of that sum should go to a third division club, Aerostar Bacau, from where Politehnica Timisoara had bought the national team player seven years ago for only 50.000 Euros. The great Gheorghe Hagi was the man who asked for the transfer to be done, the same underrated coach who insisted to play with Gabriel Torje when the current Udinese man was only 16 years old.
“I’m training and waiting for my turn”, says Pantilimon, happy enough to started in 4 games this term, 3 times in the League Cup and once in the FA Cup, keeping two clean sheets in the process (against Wolverhampton and Arsenal), but failing to help his team take out United in the FA Cup, when he was defeated three times.
Pantilimon turned 25 yesterday and contradicted his former boss, Marian Iancu, from Poli Timisoara, who had revealed that the deal was in place since day 1, but the clubs had decided to make it look like a loan in order to avoid putting too much pressure on the goalkeeper. “I knew from the start it was a permanent deal, but it wasn’t the case nor the moment to make it public. Now I can talk about it”, says the player who wants to win the Europa League and the Premier League and not talk too much about his status: “The team is all that matters.”
Timisoara snatched a point on Sunday evening in the dying moments of the away game at Universitatea Craiova, thanks to Ianis Zicu, and it’s pretty clear who are the 13-14 players that will have the honor to fight with the Citizens, hoping to produce another European miracle.
Yesterday, it became clear that Vladimir Petrovic realized that his plans to build an offensive team need to be adjusted, that his eleven needs balance, otherwise it will be severely punished, just like it happened in the very dubious first half against MyPa, when his back four was so exposed that the hosts were 3-0 up after 45 minutes. The key to Timisoara’s spectacular return was Alexandru Bourceanu, a central midfielder nicknamed Gattuso, whose impressive work-rate is vital in covering the spaces, breaking up attacks and linking up the play. He was among the starters in the impressive 3-2 win against CFR Cluj, as well as in last evening’s game, and the Viola were punished only after a childish mistake from Srdjan Luchin. Universitatea struggled to create chances, while at the other end the 20.000 fans withnessed as much as four dangerous shots in the space of two minutes, in one of Timisoara’s raids forward. Ok, the “drawing” goal came very late and based on some hazard and the hosts’ lack of experience, but this was the fourth time in as many league games when Timisoara managed to come back from one or two goals down to earn a positive result! Read more…