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Palmeiras president Maurício Galiotte spent his Monday at F.C. Barcelona, further straitening cooperation between the clubs. Topics on the table included the exchange of junior players and the swapping of know-how on logistics and marketing.

The good relations leading to the arrangements involving first Yerry Mina and, more recently, Vitinho, are well known. However, last Friday, Palmeiras’ director of football Alexandre Mattos let us in on yet another aspect of the partnership: Barcelona vouching for Palmeiras’ seriousness vis-à-vis third parties.

Levante, the holder of forward Deyverson’s federative rights, were hesitant when approached by Palmeiras, having heard numerous discouraging stories regarding Brazilian clubs. Levante sought Barcelona’s advice and were told not to worry. Negotiations proceeded and were successfully concluded the other day, with Deyverson signing a five-year contract with Palmeiras.

“Tell me who you go with and I’ll tell you who you are”. Palmeiras lining up with the best.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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deyverson.
Palmeiras yesterday announced having reached an agrement for forward Deyverson, belonging to Levante but playing for this year’s Copa del Rey finalists Alavés, for € 5 million. The news came as a surprise: Palmeiras have been negotiating with Sport’s Diego Souza for two weeks and previously tried Fluminense’s Richarlison for the position. Other players, like Chilean Eduardo Vargas, were speculated. Palmeiras certainly flew under the radar on this one, beating (at least) Wolfsburg, Leverkusen and Porto to the chase.

Not that negotiations happened overnight: they reportedly initiated some 45 days ago, on request from Palmeiras coach Cuca. In Deyverson, Cuca sees a player with enough physical strength to fight off defenders, but also mobility to play outside the area. Barcelona coach Luis Enrique in May described the 26-year-old as one of the most dangerous strikers of La Liga, a complete player, physical but also technical. “Very good in the aerial game, a born fighter, always going after that second ball. A strong finisher, with fast transitions”, he concluded.

Negotiations with Deyverson dragged on a bit due to Levante’s initial reluctance to sell, but the forward’s wish tipped the scale. “At first, Deyverson was not interested in a transfer, he planned on remaining at Aláves”, his manager explains. “But as the offers started coming, both from Spain and other countries… In the end, he chose Palmeiras. The project they presented gave us confidence. We feel joining Palmeiras is a step forward, not simply a return to Brazil”.

Without doubt, Deyverson will grab one of the two remaining spots in Palmeiras’ Libertadores squad. If successful at his new club, through the increased visibility he might also catch national coach Tite’s attention.

Deyverson initiated his career at third-division Rio de Janeiro club Mangaratibense, from where, in 2012 and at the age of 20, he left for Benfica. From there he went on to defend Belenenses (POR), Köln, Levante and Alavés, playing a total of 141 games and scoring 38 goals. 1,87m tall and weighing 81kg, the forward is expected Thursday in São Paulo for his medical before signing a five-year contract.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Palmeiras and Cruzeiro yesterday night confirmed concluded negotiations in regard to four players: midfielders Robinho and Fabrício, right-back Fabiano and forward Willian. In short, the deal is as follows:

# Palmeiras return Fabrício to Cruzeiro.

# Cruzeiro keep Robinho for one more year, sending Willian over to Palmeiras in return. Both players can extend their loan agreements for two additional season if they and he clubs so wish. Palmeiras are not allowed to negotiate Robinho with another club without Cruzeiro’s consent.

# Palmeiras acquires 40% of Fabiano’s economic rights, keeping him at Palmeiras on a permanent basis.

willian_reducedThe only “new” player involved in the transactions is Willian, 30, nickname “bigode” (moustache). Originally from the small municipality of Três Fronteiras, state of São Paulo, the 170 cm tall forward had spells at Atlético Paranaense, Figueirense, Corinthians and Metalist Kharkiv (Ukraine) before making it big at Cruzeiro, regularly appearing during the club’s back-to-back Brasileirão titles of 2013 and 2014. His numbers for 2015 remained good, but dipped last year, with only 7 braces in 47 appearances. The weak 2016 cannot however be attributed to a lack of trying: summing shots on target in the League and the Brazil Cup, Willian divided second place with Palmeiras’ Gabriel Jesus – both with 39 – only behind Vitórias’ Marinho with 45.

Willian is an experienced, talented and hard-working player. Robinho had a good year at Cruzeiro and quickly got the supporter’s approval. The deal seems well-balanced and equally beneficial for both clubs.

Willian, welcome and the best of luck!

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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GJ2ManC
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And there it is: as widely rumoured for a couple of weeks, 19-year-old Palmeiras forward Gabriel Jesus is heading for Manchester City. Although details of the contract are yet to be disclosed, it is known that the price tag is €32 million and that the kid will remain at Palmeiras at least until the end of 2016. I say “at least”, because there are also rumours that if Palmeiras win a spot in next year’s Libertadores Cup, City might be convinced to let Gabriel stay for an additional six months.

Good to have this out of the way. Congratulations Gabriel Jesus, congratulations Palmeiras and congratulations Manchester City: I believe this is a balancede deal that is bound to suit all parts equally.

We’ll serve you more details as they are made available.

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Pear.
As expected, Leandro Pereira is packing. And as expected, he’s heading for Belgium. Club Brugge are forking out €3.5 million for the pleasure of having the Palmeiras centre-forward pull on their jersey.

So, why are Palmeiras letting go of their top scorer this season? And what’s on the cards for Club Brugge?

24-year-old Leandro Pereira turned professional in 2011, transiting through several small clubs in the interior of the state of São Paulo. He received attention in 2014 while playing for Chapecoense, at the time recently promoted to Série A. At the end of the season, he seemed set for Corinthians, but ended up at Palmeiras. Supporters of the Verdão were initially hesitant – used to “promising” players from smaller clubs coming and going without leaving a mark whatsoever – but little by little, Leandro won them over. A serious man, but with an easy smile, the 190 cm tall player positions himself well in the box, often scoring with headers but not only: in the last month, his quick and intuitive style of play has showcased his efficiency and objectivity, always seeking an opportunity to conclude. He has totalled 10 goals in 30 games: not bad, considering the completely remodelled 2015 Palmeiras squad, containing 25 (!) new players.

Thing is, it’s crowded up front at Palmeiras. Cristaldo, Mouche, Rafael Marques, Dudu, Gabriel Jesus, Kelvin… These all have rather different characteristics, but Alecsandro and – especially – Paraguay national squad forward Lucas Barrios are (or rather, were) Leandro’s direct contenders.

In the last few weeks, Leandro was mostly found on the bench, even while sporting good form. Many wondered why. We now know it was due to the already ongoing negotiations with Brugge. In the end, the Belgians bought 75% of the player: Palmeiras’ 50% and an additional 25% that were in the hands of investors (holding on to the last 25%).

The deal seems a true win/win/win scenario: Palmeiras have enough forwards already, and are making a reasonable revenue on the transfer – some R$ 5 million (US$ 1.4 million) net; Leandro takes an important step in his career; and Brugge get a quality player who has, I’d say, a good chance of making it in Europe.

Good luck, Leandro Pereira and Club Brugge!

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High noon, and all spotlights were directed toward Bruno César, the 25-year-old competent midfielder receiving his Palmeiras jersey, number 30, from the hands of president Paulo Nobre. We learnt the player gave up on receiving US$ 800.000 – a debt Al Ahli wanted to pass on to Palmeiras but the club was more than hesitant to take on – in order to speed up the transfer process. We learn he is eager to show his worth, to get in shape as soon as possible, preferably to debut for Palmeiras against his former club, arch rivals Corinthians. We learnt this and more, but unfortunately, our attention was irrevocably diverted by the unexpected news that our team captain, Henrique, was leaving for Napoli. The Swedes call this “smolk i bägaren”, dirt in the cup. You’re commemorating, you’re lifting your glass to toast, and something comes in the way to ruin your happiness.
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henrique.
Napoli had expressed interest in Henrique before, but as a loan. Now, with the transfer window closing on Friday, they turned it up not one but many notches: €4 million for Henrique, offering him a four-year contract. The players’ agent deemed Napoli’s offer irresistible, and so did Henrique, signing the agreement as Palmeiras gave their blessing. Of the €4 million – actually corresponding to only two thirds of the stipulated transfer fee – Palmeiras pocket 80%, the remaining 20% to be split between the player and his agent.

Henrique is a good player. And our captain. But he’s not irreplaceable. If the “irre$i$tible” offer made him change his mind, better let him go before he contaminates the rest of the squad. €4 million is not bad cash. The timing is not good, but that’s out of our director’s control. Now, a replacement is needed, and fast. Depending on what will arrive, we’re in better shape to judge to what extent Henrique’s exit was beneficial or detrimental to Palmeiras.

A final word, and always worth remembering: We Love Palmeiras. Players do not. They play for Palmeiras, and they get paid for it. Never expect their love, much less demand it. Hell, distrust any player who expresses his love for Palmeiras (there are a few exceptions to this last sentence, and we all know who they are). Adopting this posture will save you from disappointments, time and time again.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Barcos_Gremio.
Upon returning to Porto Alegre, some of Grêmio’s players were verbally abused by supporters awaiting at the airport, ventilating their anger after Wednesday’s defeat to Corinthians. Barcos was one of the main targets: “Go back to Palmeiras, you Argentine piece of sh*t” echoed in the hall, among other things.

Now, the question is simple:
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