Posts Tagged ‘transfer speculation’

Although officially consistently denied by Palmeiras, a deal has been cooking since November. Atlético Nacional naturally want as much as possible for their star striker, but the insistence on too high a price resulted in the European transfer window closing without any serious option on the table. Big dollars are also available in China, but Borja is young and hungry and not at all keen on a move to Asia. Palmeiras’ director of football Alexandre Mattos seems to have played his hand well.

What additionally has tipped the scale in Palmeiras’ favour is Borja’s own wish: in a fresh-off-the-presses interview for a Brazilian newspaper, he admits having swapped messages with former teammate Alejandro Guerra and fellow compatriot Yerry Mina about Palmeiras and liked what he heard. He also mentioned the feverish Palmeiras supporters and that he had received many encouraging messages through social media, already feeling welcome at the club. And then, a rather bombastic statement from the recently turned 24-year-old: “My family has already packed the bags for Brazil. I expect a decision to be reached by tomorrow or the day after”.

Word is Palmeiras are paying US$ 12 million for 50%-70% of the player’s economic rights.

Tomorrow, Palmeiras and Crefisa are holding a press conference to announce a two-year renovation of the sponsorship partnership. Expect numbers rarely, if ever, seen in Brazilian football: approximately R$100 million per year (US$ 32 million) with bonuses for titles won. Considering recent developments, I would say there is a fair chance the sponsorship renovation be not the sole topic on the agenda.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!


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Every week, if not every day, a new team is announced as Gabriel Jesus’ next destination. Indeed, the 19-year-old forward is has become the centre of attention on the international transfer market. Initial fears were that he would be swept away already mid-season, crippling Palmeiras’ title aspirations. However, supporters today feel confident they can count on Gabriel for the rest of the year: Palmeiras have repeatedly expressed the intention to hold on to all key players and Gabriel himself has reinforced the position, firmly stating he aims for the Brazilian championship this year. Kid has a good head on his shoulders.
Does not mean negotiations are not taking place, on the contrary: Palmeiras’ director of football Alexandre Mattos was recently on a European tour, laying out conditions in meetings with representatives from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Internazionale, Juventus and Manchester United. Not only financial conditions but, again, the permanence of Gabriel throughout the year.

The whole thing was slow cooking, but that changed when news today spread that a new contender, Manchester City, had made the best offer so far, €32 million, in addition to allowing Gabriel to remain for the rest of the Brasileirão. Manchester City are not on Gabriel’s top 5 list – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Bayern München – who only need to pay a €24 million fee to release him from his contract with Palmeiras. Any other club, including City, would theoretically have to come up with €40 million.

So why would Palmeiras, owner of 30% of Gabriel Jesus’ economic rights, settle for less than the full amount they could potentially cash in, €12 million? Well, seems like a less orthodox deal is being drafted up, where City would pay Palmeiras €20 million for the club’s 30% share, leaving the remaining €12 million with… Well, Gabriel himself holds 25% of his economic rights, and two agents/investors hold the remaining 45%. Would the three of them share the €12 million? Or would City sign a separate agreement only with Gabriel, purchasing his 25% for the €12 million, completely cutting the agents out of the deal? There are some question marks here, but it is safe to assume that someone will be on the short end of the rope.  

All this of course on the premises that Gabriel Jesus wants to play for Manchester City. Which, apparently, he wants, after having received a telephone call from the man himself, City coach Pep Guardiola.

Some claim the deal is sealed, but that is unlikely: Gabriel Jesus has said he will not sign anything until after the Olympic Games. No word from Palmeiras either, although that is the modus operandi of Paulo Nobre’s administration, where silence reigns until the ink has dried. Besides, with the world’s attention on the kid during the Games, why waste the opportunity to receive even more interesting offers? Manchester United have signalled they will make one within the coming week, and so have another of Europe’s major clubs, most likely also this one on Gabriel’s top 5 list. Stay tuned, the show has just begun!  

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Today, we’re shooting rapids. Ready?

Palmeiras keeper Deola, on loan to Vitória, is not renewing his contract with the Bahia club; his 2014 whereabouts are unclear but there’s no indication he’ll play for the Verdão coming season.

Fernandinho’s heading back to Oeste, who in turn are returning Diego Souza to Palmeiras. Other likely returns include Patrick Vieira and Mazinho.

Former first, then second keeper Bruno is likely to leave, destination unknown.  So is right-winger Luis Felipe, destined for Benfica unless anything goes wrong in the last minute.

Palmeiras have entered the transfer market in high gear, although little of it is out in the press and nothing’s been formally announced; speculations include midfielder Elano (Grêmio), also midfielder Lucas Lima (Sport/Inter), right-winger Jorge Moreira (Libertad/PAR), also right-winger Stefan Medina (Atlético Nacional/COL), left-winger Uendel (Ponte Preta) and forward Rafael Sóbis (Fluminense). Negotiations seemingly most advanced is with attacking midfielder Bruno César (Al Ahli/SA).

As you will notice, several of the speculations involve foreigners: the CBF are likely to announce a modification to current regulations, raising the allowed number of foreign players on the pitch from three to five.  

Palmeiras are in contact with investment groups and companies in search of partners for signing players.

[Regarding the transfer market, am I optimistic? I want to be, but must admit that the unchanged situation regarding Palmeiras’ master sponsorship and the dragged out procedure that led up to the renovation of Kleina left me worried. Good names must put pen to paper as of next week, when the Brasileirão ends.]

Today Friday, a new round of negotiations takes place between Palmeiras and WTorre aimed at a friendly solution solving the dispute regarding number of seats destined to each of the parties for commercialisation at the Allianz Parque. If bad comes to worse, the case proceeds to the Getúlio Vargas Foundation’s Board of Conciliation and Arbitration.

This week, Palmeiras initiated construction on the new training facilities, partially to stand ready in mid 2014. By early 2015, the facilities will also include a “hotel”, where players and staff will gather before home games. Roughly 80% of the construction costs are paid for by the “Fundo Brahmeiro” (refresh your memory here).

Busto_São_MarcoMarcos recently approved the cast for the bust that will be featured at the Allianz Parque together with the current other three (Junqueira, Waldemar Fiúme and Ademir da Guia). Oberdan Cattani will join the quartet in the close future. By the look of it, we’ll indeed have a very life-like copy on display.

On Tuesday, six consiglieri were elected into Palmeiras’ Deliberative Council – for life. Each and every one of perpetual counsellors represent a step back in terms of modernisation of the club’s archaic and faulty political/administrative structure. Hopefully, this was a last thrust by the regressive forces before the statuary changes due in 2014.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!


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Palmeiras are “flying low”, as one would say in Portuguese: nine victories and one draw in the last ten rounds of the Brasileirão, with five straight wins, the last two against Paraná and, yesterday, Joinville.

Paraná proved a hard nut, as expected, but before a 30.000 strong crowd at the Pacaembu, Palmeiras were able to turn the tables even after suffering an early own goal. Paraná have the so far strongest defence in the division, and naturally closed up even further after the goal. In the second half, Palmeiras turned the pressure up and dismantled Paraná piece by piece. Valdivia and especially Wesley shone.

An amusing storm in a water glass followed, as SporTV journalist André Rizek fumed over Valdivia’s not only obvious but explicit and successful strategy to receive a third booking: Valdivia had been called up for the Chilean national squad and took the opportunity to clean his sheet as he thus wouldn’t be at coach Kleina’s disposal for the following game against Joinville. Rizek practically begged the laughable Supreme Sports Tribunal (STJD) to look into the case, he himself conveniently overlooking the fact that what Valdivia did has been done since the dawning of football. Curious how certain things turn big only because Palmeiras are involved; can’t remember Rizek opening his mouth last year when Corinthians coach Tite confirmed that he had ordered Paulinho to do exactly the same trickster manoeuvre.

In the end, Valdivia didn’t play for the national team: he was diagnosed with muscular fatigue and ordered a rest by the Chilean doctor. Most likely he won’t face Paysandu later this week, only returning for the Brazil Cup game against Atlético Paranaense next week, if properly recovered. Fingers crossed: Mendieta was taken off the pitch yesterday after a blow to the thigh and Palmeiras need at least one of the two in good shape for next week’s important appointment.

— ooo —

Yesterday, in the state of Santa Catarina and mostly under rain, Palmeiras beat Joinville 1-0. It wasn’t that much to write home about, but again, Wesley proved important on the pitch and, as soon as he walked off it, reconfirmed how satisfied he is at Palmeiras, that he wishes to stay but that his future’s in God’s hands. The quite massive campaigning online (there’s even a website calling for Wesley’s stay), Wesley’s own statements and the player’s growing tactical and technical importance for the team might prove enough for Palmeiras to dismiss a loan proposal from Atlético Mineiro for the remainder of the year that reportedly includes salaries and some US$ 2.6 million. Remembering that Palmeiras only consider letting a player of Wesley’s calibre go due to the still very strained financial reality of the club: the Nobre administration is yet to announce a major sponsor and costs are cut wherever they can be found.

— ooo —

Speaking of the Nobre administration: on twitter Anything Palmeiras launched a very modest poll a few days back with the intention to roughly verify a hypothesis: that the personal profile (or life philosophy, if you so which) of those most fiercely opposing the Nobre administration primarily reflects a day-by-day approach, persons who are impulsive and seek to maximise gains. On the other hand, Nobre supporters would be the opposite: at large careful planners who seek to minimise risks.

The poll was a resounding failure. 45% of votes were cast on the “live to the max, support Nobre” option; 50% on the “plan carefully, support Nobre” option; and 5% on the “live to the max, don’t support Nobre” option. No votes were cast for the “plan carefully, don’t support Nobre” option. In other words: the support for Nobre was equally divided between the impulsive and the planners. And, which is worse: only Nobre supporters bothered to answer the poll.

— ooo —

BufferWorld celebrity Bruce Buffer was recently in Brazil launching his book: a take on the backstage of the UFC mixed martial arts circus. A buffer fan took the opportunity to hand him a gift: a retro Palmeiras jersey. Buffer seemed delighted and expressed his appreciation for Brazilian women and now, also, for Palmeiras. Welcome to the family, Bruce. Before you know it, you’ll be shouting…

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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São Caetano 1-2 Palmeiras
“Waiting for Godot” has for palmeirenses turned into “Waiting for Eguren”: when everything seemed set for his appearance in the starting eleven, Kleina in the last minute opted for a 4-3-3 with Mendieta, Wesley and Highlander Araújo on the midfield and Leandro, Kardec and Ananias up front. An offensive line-up, especially in an away game. Too offensive. São Caetano counter-attacked mercilessly, taking full advantage of the available spaces on the flanks. We went to halftime behind on the scorecard.

Kleina could swap some pieces or improve positioning. He chose the latter, and to perfection: Palmeiras came on steamrolling all over the Azulão and had turned the game around within 15 minutes after a true golaco by Kardec and a point blank volley shot by captain Henrique. For most of the remainder, Palmeiras exercised control of the game. With the fresh three points, Palmeiras maintained their grip on the top of the tables; important as also Chapecoense, Sport and Figueirense won their games.

Brazil Cup 2013 draw
Yesterday afternoon, the Brazilian Football Federation drew the second phase fixture of the Brazil Cup 2013. Palmeiras could have ended up in an easier group, but the taste of victory will be even sweeter: our first opponent are Atlético Paranaense – the same Atlético that Palmeiras have kicked out of the Copa do Brasil on three previous occasions, namely 1992, 2010 and 2012. Our first game is at home, in roughly two weeks’ time.

If Palmeiras proceed to the quarter-finals, Salgueiro or – more likely – Internacional await end of October. Semi-finals and finals only in November. Check out the complete fixtures below.

The courting of our players

With the international transfer window closed and most players in the league already summing seven or more games for their clubs – an impediment for them to play for any other club in the same division – rivals in the first division are turning their attention to Palmeiras for possible reinforcements. The media play along, when not shamefully instigating rumours in order to sell more “news”.

Valdivia_Treino_WertherSantanaEstadao_292This morning, Valdivia was linked to Flamengo, although the carioca club director openly stated that they did not have the funds to yank the midfielder from Palmeiras or pay his high salaries. On live television, Valdivia, very much at ease, explained he was happy at the Verdão and wouldn’t mind ending his career there. Based on his current form, that’s one hell of a promise; considering his average performance and cost/benefit, one hell of a threat. Time will tell.

WesWith Valdivia soon being less than news, attention in the afternoon had already turned to Wesley, who apparently – at least if one of Brazilian most influential football magazines should be trusted – is well on his way to Atlético Mineiro. The midfielder, who finally has recovered his fine football after a serious knee injury, would be lent to the Libertadores Cup champions in order to further alleviate Palmeiras’ strained finances. I don’t believe a word of it. Don’t want to, either. Not saying it can’t be true, not saying Palmeiras might not have received an offer. But there’s an ocean between receiving an offer and accepting it. Until facts are on the table, I shrug it off.

We must all get used to the courting, treat it as something normal and, in fact, good: it’s an indicator of success, of quality, of Palmeiras going in the right direction. We supporters should refrain from reacting to rumours, demanding explanations or positions from players, managers or directors. We must learn and constantly remind ourselves: it’s not a fact because it’s in the papers. Especially not when the topic is football, players and transfers.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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On the quest of restructuring the squad for the sequence of the Serie B and the upcoming Brazil Cup, Palmeiras are feverishly active on the transfer market. Officially, Mendieta is the only newcomer so far. And although Anything Palmeiras’ policy is to avoid spreading rumours, there’s so much consensus in relation to not only players involved but also status of negotiations, it’s hard not to make comments.

Both Maurício Ramos and Maikon Leite are negotiating with clubs in the Middle East. Leite seems rather reluctant to leave Palmeiras, but has a more than uncertain future at the club after below-average performance for quite some time. Same goes for Kleber, who wishes to stay but might return to Porto in two days’ time; after all, two goals in eleven games isn’t what one expects from a striker. Márcio Araújo is also likely to be involved in negotiations, as is Ayrton, possibly in a swap with Portuguesa.

So, who’s arriving? Again, nothing of the following has been officially confirmed, but a few names seem ready for announcement next week:

Alan Kardec – the 24-year-old striker currently at Portuguese club Benfica is supposedly arriving in São Paulo this weekend to undergo medical exams and sign a one-year contract. He comes as a loan, so no transfer fee’s involved, only salaries. Kardec is a quality player and should go straight into the starting eleven as the reference point in Palmeiras new offensive line-up.

Felipe Menezes – also at Benfica, the midfielder is somewhat of a wild card, seemingly whirlpooled into the Palmeiras/Kardec negotiation. I have no idea what to expect from this one.

Sebastián Eguren – the experienced defensive midfielder from Uruguay is currently serving the national squad during the Confederations Cup. Rumours are the deal’s already closed and will be announced as soon as the tournament is over. No transfer fee here either: Eguren’s contract with Libertad/PAR is about to expire and they have already come to a gentlemen’s agreement. The 32-year-old should be another good reinforcement (after all, he’s in the national squad of the current South America champions), although peak performance might be a thing of the past.

Luis Ricardo – in the crosshairs of several clubs, the talented Portuguesa right-back apparently has a soft spot for Palmeiras: recently the player has been praising the club and its history. Negotiations are well advanced, but Portuguesa know how to play ball and no favours are to be expected. 

 — ooo —

Paulo_Nobre_Tiago_Queiroz_Estadao_05122012_292_2Through informal channels, then echoed by mainstream media, we learnt that Palmeiras president Paulo Nobre has taken a personal loan – in fact, the second since he took office – and injected the money into Palmeiras. We’re not talking peanuts here, but several million US dollars.

Paulo Nobre is a wealthy man. But his buzz word is “professionalism”. From the outset he made it clear: he would not invest in or loan his money to Palmeiras. He has not kept that promise. Three reflections:

1) Palmeiras’ financial situation is worse than anyone could imagine, including Paulo Nobre. Two years of Arnaldo Tirone by the steering wheel proved disastrous. Not that we didn’t know that. But again, the scale… It’s worth repeating: it’s worse than anyone could imagine. Much worse. If it wasn’t, Nobre wouldn’t be going against his beliefs and inject his own money into the club. Rest assured all other options currently available have been tried and failed. If new players are soon to be announced, it’s thanks to this fresh money coming in.

Why is there still no master sponsor? I don’t know. I only know that Nobre and his men are working tirelessly. Which still leaves me confident good news will come, just as they did when Palmeiras’ basketball crew was feeling the slipknot tighten.

2) Our president is committed. Not only is he working hard, but also risking part of his personal wealth, which is unfortunate, but nevertheless a strong indicator. And I cannot but respect him for that.

3) Nobre is confident he will have success. Injecting millions of dollars into Palmeiras is not for the faint of heart nor indecisive.

Ahead of us, another week without games. But trust me, not without thrills.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Yesterday, the official name of Palmeiras’ New Arena was announced. Chosen by 89% of supporters (a total of 620.000 votes cast) and the sponsor alike, “Allianz Parque” it is. Be sure to check out the video below, screened during the announcement cerimony.

Some consider this the ultimate display of selling one’s soul. Others, that the Brazilian football landscape is changing and that Palmeiras are spearheading that change. After all, we see a solid and competent construction company – WTorre; a world-leading events and sports promoter – AEG; an international and financially strong investor in sports – Allianz Insurance Group; and nothing less than the Brazilian club with most national titles – Palmeiras. Add some 15 million supporters. These five components now come together under one roof,Allianz_Parque_logo merging tradition, innovation and passion for decades to come. It’s safe to assume many a rivalling football director lay sleepless at night.

Changing the subject: there are things happening on the transfer front.

Forward Ananias has arrived as part of the deal involving Souza, who left for Cruzeiro. The 24-year-old comes on loan until the end of the year, with Palmeiras having the option to extend the loan period or even purchase the player. The deal also contemplates an old debt that Cruzeiro settles for Palmeiras, plus the option for Palmeiras to buy Charles and Marcelo Oliveira after their loan periods come to an end at Palmeiras.

Ananias, born in São Luís (state of Maranhão), has previously played for Bahia and Portuguesa. At his first press conference, he promised to work hard and honour the Palmeiras jersey. If he doesn’t, he certainly won’t last long. That being said: I have a good feeling about this one.

Another player already considered in the bag is midfielder Mendieta. Clubs, player and agent have reached an agreement and the Paraguayan is expected in São Paulo any day now to undergo medical exams and sign the contract. Four seasons, apparently. Speculated transfer sum some US$ 1.5 million. Good and timely signing, if going through.

Other speculations include right-winger Luis Ricardo of Portuguesa in a swap including Maurício Ramos and Maikon Leite; and 23-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder Patito Rodriguez, currently at Santos, for Wesley. Only speculations. Only. Speculations.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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