While the emphasis in June is still on strengthening the squad (see below), Portimonense are already firming up plans to give their probable new-look side some game time following their playing staff’s return to training on July 1.
Matches on the agenda so far are a ‘friendly’ with Sporting Braga on the 13th of next month followed by matches with FC Porto, Betis and Getafe in Lagos between the 18th and 21st. Also visiting the Algarve will be Qatari club Al-Duhail, home of former Portimonense star Shoya Nakajima, and the two sides are expected to meet at a date yet to be agreed. The Nakajima transfer, at a reported €35 million, was by far the biggest in the Algarveans’ history and is said to have guaranteed Portimonense’s financial security for at least 10 years.
Meanwhile, last season’s outstanding player, Bruno Tabata, is continuing to impress for Brazil’s U-23s at the Toulon Tournament, where easy wins over Guatemala, France and Qatar have secured the South American side a semi-final berth against the Republic of Ireland (played on Wednesday after the Resident went to press).
Tabata, who has a €40 million release clause, is being watched by German clubs Leipzig and Stuttgart in addition to Brazil’s Palmeiras and Flamengo, but Portimonense have expressed reluctance to sell for anything less than the hopefully prohibitive above price.
In other news, LDU Quito’s Ecuador international Anderson Julio could be on his way to the Algarve – the 23-year-old attacking midfielder, described as an “unpolished diamond”, has attracted attention at the ongoing South American club championships and is available for around €1 million.
It also looks likely that Jackson Martinez will stay in Portimão, but goalkeeper Leo is lining up a loan move to Penafiel while popular defender Vitor Tormena might be required to return to ‘parent’ club Gil Vicente after Portimonense failed to exercise their ‘buy’ option on time.
By SKIP BANDELE
Photo: Jackson Martinez will likely stay in Portimão