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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Mourinho reunited, United foiled

Jose Mourinho is set to reunite with one of the top holding midfielders in the world, unsettled Dinamo Moscow midfielder Maniche. Manchester United had been linked for a transfer window swoop after the departure of Roy Keane recently but it looks like United have yet again been outdone by their richer neighbors to the south.

Chelsea have apparently agreed a deal for the Portugal international; this according to Portuguese media.

Atletico Madrid were said to be close, even looked a done deal but a reunion seemed irresistible to the player. He’ll have a mountain of competition in midfield for a place but I would not be surprised if Maniche wins the starting place over Claude Makelele, even Essien, were it not for the embarrassment of sitting a hugely expensive player in his place.

Manchester United were linked closely but with a few other players available such as Tomas Gravesen of Real Madrid, they look to have turned away from a bidding war. United are said to be linked to Nemanja Vidic of Spartak Moscow. The Blues also swooped Arjan Robben from under United’s nose.

Chelsea will be without the Ghanaian international for the African Nations Cup, a tournament which will see Essien disappear for over a month. Maniche is also not cup tied, therefore available for the Champions League, where he won the tournament 2 seasons ago under Mourinho with FC Porto.

Maniche was one of Mourinho’s favorite players at Porto, similar to the way he regards Frank Lampard now, Maniche is not shy about Mourinho either:

"He's been the best coach I've ever worked under and I won't try to hide it." - Maniche

Currently the player is tending to an injury and will likely make the move in mid-January.

7 Comments:

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Blogger tbh said...

I don't think either Maniche or Essien are even reasonably strong alternatives to Makelele – he's the one-in-a-million kind. They will have to do without Essien in the next Champions League game anyway, so at least he will find comfort in the fact that he'll figure in their plans.

Maniche, unfortunately, is more of the passive, neat type – in effect, the new Tiago. And we all know what happened. That isn't a bad thing – Tiago's been smashing at Lyon – but it doesn't suit the Chelsea game, which really hinges on specialists like Makelele.

12/30/2005 5:40 PM  
Blogger LEW said...

I guess when Lampard, Essien, Geremi Parker, Duff, Makelele, SWP, Cole, Robben, Diarra, Gudjohnsen, Jarosik, Smertin and Veron, aren't exactly what you are looking for, bring in Maniche.

12/30/2005 10:25 PM  
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