Almost four years ago, when playing for Poli Timisoara, Ionel Viorel Ganea was a bit upset with one of the referees, as you might have noticed in the above picture. Retired, he took up several roles at Dinamo, but he realized that going from sporting director to manager of the reserve team and heading for a scout’s role wasn’t quite the path he imagined and Prosport revealed today that the 37 years old has decided to return on the pitch. Not in the first division, but in the fourth, playing for the mighty FC Stefanesti, a squad he decided to help both as a player and (soon to be qualified) coach.
Don’t think that the former Romanian international, who scored 19 goals in 43 appearances for his country, plans to stay long at this level! He’s been decisive in his team’s playoff match against the ambitious CS Afumati (Smoked Sporting Club, if you’re really curious what this means) and might have a shot at making it into the third tier this summer!
I wish his colleagues/players best of luck, wouldn’t recommend them to be upsetting the former Stuttgart and Wolves man! And I doubt that the team from Stefanesti will get dodgy referees from now on…
Unirea Alba Iulia’s officials announced that the promising Nicolae Stanciu will travel to Germany for a trial with Vfb Stuttgart. The midfielder, born in 1993, was playing among the seniors in the second division when he was only 15 years old and this year he made his debut in the top flight as well, collecting 5 matches so far. Technically gifted, Stanciu caught the eye with his vision, the surprising confidence and composure, showing nice playimaking ability and looking responsible on the pitch at a very tender age.
This trial comes three weeks after the press reports that spoke about Chelsea’s interest in Unirea’s latest product (Grozav – sold last summer to Standard Liege, Bucurica – in talks with FC Koln), confirming that top clubs are after the player that the brave and interesting coach Blaz Sliskovic decided to field against the likes of Steaua and Dinamo, in spite of the team’s terrible situation in the standings.
- Central defender Cosmin Barcauan is close to a return home, after three and a half seasons spent in Greece, at PAOK and OFI, where he was sent on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk. Barcauan (31) started his Liga I career as a striker for Universitatea Craiova, but was moved in central defense and then transferred to Dinamo, the club that is hoping to sign him in the next few days, after the player passed today a medical exam.
- Named Best foreign player in Romania, Pablo Brandan (26) has won also a place in the ideal first eleven of the league, after half a season. The Argentinian left back is currently playing for reigning champions Unirea Urziceni and doesn’t hide his disappointment for missing out on a transfer to VFB Stuttgart. The German club apparently offered 1.100.000 1.400.000 EUR, but the Romanian club was expecting to land a deal in the region of 3.000.000 EUR.
- Dacian Varga (25), currently under contract with second division club Sportul Studentesc, has several club from the first division interested in his services. After Steaua Bucharest and FC Timisoara, Rapid Bucharest lined up in the race for his signature. Each club is trying different approaches to convince Vasile Siman, the owner of Sportul, to sell the player, after the left winger impressed in the Champions League group stage this season, playing on loan at Unirea Urziceni.
- Marius Constantin (25) finally agreed to extend his contract with Rapid, which was expiring at the end of the season and one of the most interesting targets for free transfers in the summer has become unavailable. The defender was a target for several Russian and German clubs, but apparently Dynamo Kyiv was at one point keen to sign the strong centre-back. Constantin’s new deal will expire in June 2013 and he got a raise from 120.000 EUR to 200.000 EUR per season.
- Colombian attacking midfielder Dayro Moreno (24) has publicly demanded to be allowed to return to Once Caldas, although the club cannot afford the 500.000 EUR transfer fee.
- Ronny Levy signed a contract with champions Unirea Urziceni. He will earn 20.000 EUR per month + bonuses, until June 2011. Levy inherits a strong team, which finished third in a tough Champions League group (played against Sevilla, VFB Stuttgart and Glasgow Rangers) and will continue to play in Europe this spring. Defending the title in the league is another objective still in reach, as Unirea has the same number of points (41) with CFR Cluj and Steaua. Only two players departed this winter, the wingers Dacian Varga and Tiberiu Balan, who were loaned from second division club Sportul Studentesc. Levy probably has been promised a transfer budget, although Urziceni was an expert (under Dan Petrescu and Mihai Stoica) in reviving the careers of players released or sold almost for nothing by smaller clubs.
- Steaua seems to have reached an agreement with Bulgarian striker Hristo Yovov (32), who should get 10.000 EUR / month until the summer, a substantial bonus (100.000 EUR according to http://www.gsp.ro) in case the club wins the title and the option to extend the current deal for one more year. The problem is that, so far, nobody from Steaua contacted Levski Sofia, but coach Mihai Stoichita will try to get the green light from the club during the weekend, when he’ll travel to Bulgaria.
- FC Timisoara will keep Pedro Manuel Taborda Moreira (31) until the end of the season, when his contract will expire. The club gave full (sometimes too much) credit to the very promising Costel Pantilimon (22) – on Arsenal’s shortlist – and also bought last summer Nemanja Supic (27), but Taborda impressed in the three appearances for the club this season (a solid display in Europa League against Dinamo Zagreb!) and, with Supic quite injury prone, will be kept as backup. Of course, the club will have to offer/promise something to a player who has every reason to look for another club right now.
- Otelul Galati released Gjorgji Mojsov (24), a central midfielder bought last summer from Rabotnicki. Played in seven games this season, three times as a starter. Otelul also terminated the loan of Arthur Patras, who came from Timisoara and is a regular for Moldova U21. This way, the club for Galati makes room in the first eleven for the promising Razvan Ochirosii, recently transferred (and partially bought) from Steaua, as part of the Zhivko Zhelev deal.