Portimonense: Tall order

Portimonense have confirmed the signing of 24-year-old Brazilian central defender Vinicius Guarapuava who stands 1m91cm in his socks.

The move pre-empts the likely departure of Willyan, whose contract ends next January, for Botafogo.

There is still a great deal of uncertainty as to who will be in goal for the Algarveans next season. Italian top division club Udinese, who snapped up top scorer Beto last summer, have expressed a strong interest in regular first choice Samuel Portugal who will be allowed to leave for around €5 million. Should that transfer go ahead, hitherto want-away reserve keepers Payam Niazmand and Nakamura, internationals for Iran and Japan respectively, would probably stay put with the prospect of regular play time ahead of the World Cup later this year.

Portimonense will return to ‘work’ next Monday and will have their first pre-season outing against English Championship side Birmingham City on July 12 – the match is scheduled for a 7pm kick-off at the Ferreiras Stadium in Albufeira.