Corinthians are stealing the show in the transfer market rumours space at the moment. Their ambitious (and annoying) president Andres Sanchez is up for re-election later this year and a few big name signings would do his hopes no harm at all. Of course, Adriano has been signed on a free transfer after having his contract ripped up by Roma.
But, the big news/rumour going round at the moment is that Corinthians are opportunistically trying to bring in Ganso from Santos before he goes to Europe. The release clause in Ganso’s contract is less for Brazilian teams (around 20 million pounds) than foreign teams (almost double that) which is why it could be a viable deal for Corinthians (a sort of player arbitrage). I highly doubt it will happen, though. For one, Ganso wants to play in Europe. What would be the point of going to a rival for just a few months (and being hated by Santos fans forever) before going to Europe? And two, now with one of Brazil’s most respected coaches taking over at Santos (Muricy Ramalho), Santos should start to solve some of their problems and we should see more structure and discipline in their play. That would help take some of the weight and stress of our friend Ganso’s young shoulders. Three – there is a gentleman’s agreement between the four big Sao Paulo based clubs not to sign each other’s star players. Hot air is what I think about this particular rumour.
Next on the Corinthians transfer speculations is Clarence Seedorf. The 34 year old Dutch master is apparently leaving Milan at the end of the season and Ronaldo (through his sports marketing agency, 9ine) has apparently set up a deal for him to come to Brazil. The player has a Brazilian wife, speaks Portuguese and has previously spoken about coming to play in Brazil one day. So, looks like it could happen. But I have a question. Didn’t Seedorf get off with Ronaldo’s ex-Mrs when Ronaldo was at Inter? Either I am wrong or looks like all is done and forgotten then… isn’t that nice then…. One big happy orgy! I think this could happen and despite the age, Seedorf is quality (anybody watch the Milan derby?)! I’d love to see this signing happen.
Next up for Corinthians is the departure of Bruno Cesar, 22, who is moving to Benfica in Portugal for 5.3 million euros. The player fell out of favour earlier this season after a couple of below par performances after being one of the best players in the league last year. He was voted find-of-the-year nationally and scored something like 13 goals from midfield in the league. Big (although not insurmountable) loss for Corinthians.
And in our last piece of Corinthians news (not accusing me of being biased now are you Corinthians fans???), they are on the verge of signing 21 year old striker Gilberto from Santa Cruz. Gilberto is highly rated and it was his dribble and cross that set up the Santa Cruz goal against Sao Paulo. He’s also scored 11 goals in 11 games in the Pernambuco state Championship for Santa Cruz. The player will move to Corinthians in May. Interestingly, this player is owned by a bank (Banco of Minas Gerais). The bank will register the player in an insignificant team that nobody has ever heard of and loan him to Corinthians for the next three years. As a fee for putting him in the shop window so to speak, Corinthians will earn 20% on any future transfer fee. Told you these Brazilian football finance people are a creative bunch.
And finally, if anybody is still reading, striker Wellington Paulista looks like he is moving from Cruzeiro to Palmeiras. The player has fallen down the pecking order at Cruzeiro thanks to the emergence of young Wallyson. Wellington Paulista is just the sort of player (target man and goalscorer) that Palmeiras are looking for. It looks like a good deal for Palmeiras because the player formed a successful striker partnership with Palmeiras captain Kleber when the two played together at Cruzeiro. Palmeiras’ out-of-favour right back Vitor (voted best right back in Brazil two years ago and currently flogged to Sport on loan) may or may not be included as part of the deal.