Portimonense: planning ahead

Portimonense returned to training this week still unsure if the immediate future lies in Portugal’s top tier, due to kick off on September 20, or the second division, which gets under way a week earlier.

While Aves have withdrawn their appeal against demotion to regional football, Vitória de Setúbal’s case will be heard by a league judicial committee next Monday.

Prior to that pivotal event, further details relating to the club’s hitherto failure to obtain a professional licence have been aired in the sporting press. It is claimed that former coach Sandro Mendes, who left Setúbal in October 2019, is owed €22,500 in back payments, while Estoril still await their €250,000 cut relating to a player (Dankler) transfer to Japan. Both outstanding amounts were registered with the league by the respective parties last month – should either charge, or that of missing national insurance payments also mentioned, be substantiated, Portimonense’s reinstatement will stand.

Meanwhile, the Algarveans are fighting to hold on to some of their better players such as Lucas Fernandes and Bruno Tabata, who have attracted interest from French side Rennes and leading Mexican club Tigres, respectively. Another outstanding performer during the second half of last season, on-loan Junior Tavares, has been recalled by São Paulo but a permanent transfer is being sought.

On their way out are Mohanad Ali, whose option-to-buy is not being taken up, and Manchester City loanee Marlos Moreno, goalless in 16 matches. One reinforcement, Cláudio Falcão, who was reported to be on his way from Aves, ended up signing a three-year contract with local rivals Farense.