When you start off with the right foot, things tend to work better. Palmeiras’ restructuring began with CEO Alexandre Mattos, officially still working at Cruzeiro but already pulling the strings also at Palmeiras. Mattos indicated Cicero Souza as his right hand, the man who will make the link between the CEO and the squad on a day-to-day basis. Souza was announced last week. And tomorrow, Oswaldo Oliveira will be announced coach.
64-year old Oswaldo has experience at Santos, SPFC, Corinthians, Flamengo, Vasco and Botafogo, in addition to four years of coaching in Japan. He will sign a one-year contract and is, I believe, the best option available. Mano Menezes is expensive and not to my liking; Tite idem, and is already putting pen to paper at Corinthians; Cuca is making heaps of money abroad; Abel Braga is leaving Internacional and could have been an option, but will probably seek his fortune outside of Brazil. Thus, Oswaldo it is. And the decision came quickly: an indicator as good as any that Paulo Nobre isn’t the one calling the shots anymore.
Now, players. Strong defensive midfielder Amaral has arrived from Goiás. 23-year-old centre-back Vitor Hugo, one of the best during América Mineiro’s campaign in the second division, comes on a one-year loan with a buying option. 26-year-old right-defender Lukas, Botafogo, is expected to sign any day. Expectations are also high regarding the arrival of 22-year-old defensive midfielder Thiago Mendes, also from Goiás, although both SPFC and a Ukrainian club are competing for the player.
A few bigger names are also entertained, including a first-rank keeper to maintain Prass on his toes, a striker and a playmaker. We’ll call them as they are confirmed.