Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Pepe? Who's Pepe?

The papers have been so busy concentrating on the Schuster saga at Real Madrid, that they have completely missed the fact that the club was negotiating with Porto for the transfer of their Brazilian central defender, Pepe. Given that Kléper Laveran Lima Ferreira is a bit of a mouthful at the best of times, it's hardly surprising his chosen nom de plume trips off the tongue a little more easily.

Pepe is a highly rated central defender (he's been the subject of transfer speculation before from Juventus and Chelsea), who can also play at right back. In his three seasons at Porto, he's helped them win two Portuguese league titles and one cup. The 24-year-old has not yet been called up to play for a national side and as he has recently been granted Portuguese citizenship, he could play for that nation instead of his native Brazil.

The official Porto website claims that the transfer fee has been agreed at 30 million euros, which, if true, is a massive amount for a defender with no international experience. One has to wonder, once again, if the club is over-paying for players, but the lack of transparency in the transfer market makes it very difficult to judge. It also means a surfeit of central defenders at the club, with Christoph Metzelder expected to be presented on Wednesday. Helguera is the most likely target of a clear-out, but this may also mean Cannavaro will not be first choice in the upcoming season.


linda said...

I didn't know he had no international experience, but for him to cost that much (he was valued at around 25 million euros at least, the last time I looked) he must be quite good.

Speaking of defenders, is it true that Salgado's been transfer-listed?

Gonzalo said...

Apparently Pepe was called up to play for Brazil in a number of friendlies prior to the last Olympic games but did not go because his passport had expired and he could not get another one sorted out in time. He has been playing in Portugal since he was 18 and so easily qualifies for Portuguese citizenship. Given his recently raised profile, it looks a decent bet that either Dunga or Scolari may give him the nod.

Salgado has not been transfer listed a far as I know, but his days (at least as a starter) seem to be numbered, given that Ramos is at his best on the right and Cicinho is back from injury. To be fair, I've never been a fan, as he always left plenty of space at the back and was not as effective going forward as Roberto Carlos to make up for it.