Less than two days after winning an international title, the São Paulo giants are already thinking ahead to their Copa Libertadores defense and the 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro. Given the financial difficulties at Vasco da Gama that led to Juninho Pernambucano’s move to New York Red Bulls (more on that below), Corinthians are one of several Brazilian sides mulling a move for 24-year-old defender Dedé.
Widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the country, Dedé has played only three full seasons of top-flight football but has nevertheless become something of a club icon at Vasco. The Rio de Janeiro side would no doubt hate to lose him, but his reputation and ability (he’s been capped six times for Brazil) likely mean they’ll entertain offers for him while his value is high. And it’s high now.
Also being heavily linked to Corinthians is oft-injured and out-of-favour AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato, and given Monday’s developments it looks as though the 23-year-old could be making his competitive bow for Timão as soon as next month.
Sky Italia is reporting a deal between Milan and Corinthians is “close,” with the Brazilian side willing to pay €15 million for Pato’s playing rights and 50 per cent of his economic rights. Pato has clearly not been in Massimiliano’s plans this season, but the Rossoneri would still be loathe to see him leave on the cheap and suddenly hit an extended purple patch of form. This sort of arrangement would allow them to save face.
Talk of Pato leaving the San Siro intensified over the weekend when Allegri told reporters the player wouldn’t be taking part in Sunday’s match against Pescara only to be rebuffed by Pato’s agent, who insisted his client was perfectly healthy and hoping to feature in the contest.
In any event, it looks as though Pato’s AC Milan career is finished and a deal with Corinthians could, conceivably, be wrapped up by the end of the week.
In 150 matches since making his Milan debut in 2007 Pato bagged 63 goals, 18 of which came in his best season at the club in 2008-09, when he appeared in 42 matches.
Lúcio a free agent: Former Brazil captain Lúio is available on a free transfer after his contract was terminated by Juventus, Monday. A statement on the club’s official website confirmed the transaction, saying, “The Juventus and Brazil defender has reached an agreement for the consensual termination of his contract.”
The 34-year-old made only four appearances for the Bianconeri since his July arrival from Inter Milan. The final two years on his contract with the Nerazzurri were also terminated through mutual consent, and now the Bundesliga, Serie A, Champions League and World Cup winner is on the hunt for a new club once again.
Given the recent returns of several high-profile Brazilian players to the country of their birth, a move to his home country is certainly not out of the question.
joo-NEEN-yoh: The official New York Red Bulls website is helping the Major League Soccer club’s fans learn to pronounce the name of their latest acquisition: Brazilian midfielder Juninho Pernambucano. Juninho, 37, leaves Vasco da Gama for a second time as the Rio side continues to struggle financially.
He scored 13 goals and guided Vasco to an impressive fifth-place finish in the 2012 Campeonato Brasileiro, but even with assurances that the club would seek a major sponsor to help pay salaries he opted to join New York, who also acquired defenders Kosuke Kimura and Jamison Olave and striker Fabian Espindola earlier in the month.
While at Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyon from 2001 to 2009 Juninho won seven French titles and established himself as one of the best dead-ball specialists in world football.
Rousseff opens the Castelão: Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was on hand to formally open Fortaleza’s Castelão Stadium on Sunday. The 63,903-capacity arena is the first of Brazil’s World Cup venues to be completed and was upgraded over nine months at a cost of $243 million. Christopher Atkins (@Chris_Elastico) has compiled this excellent guide to the 2014 World Cup stadiums.
Millonarios win Colombian Clausura: Bogotá side Millonarios won Colombia’s Torneao Finalización in dramatic fashion, Sunday, beating Independiente Medellin 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at El Campin. Wilberto Cosme and William Zapata scored the goals during normal time (the first leg in Medellin had ended in a scoreless draw), and Luis Delgado’s spot-kick proved the winner after Andres Correra Osorio failed to convert his attempt.
Millonarios had finished the first stage of the championship atop the table with 38 points from 18 matches—11 points clear of Independiente, who wound up seventh. But after both sides won their second round groups they progressed to the two-legged final, and after a nervy pair of matches Millonarios claimed their first title since 1988.