As 2012 comes to a close, another year has gone by. It can only mean one thing: the January Transfer Window is fast approaching! ‘Where to?’ will analyse where players connected to French football, who, for whatever reason, are likely to leave during this period may be heading; separating the reliable rumours from the daily hogwash. First up is PSG winger Nene.
Relations between the management at PSG and Nene have slowly deteriorated since the beginning of the season. Nene’s initial unhappiness came when he lost his place in the first team. Manager Carlo Ancelotti prefers to play with Ezequiel Lavezzi and Jeremy Menez as his two wingers in a sort of 4-3-3 formation. Despite this, Nene has managed to play 14 times this season, bagging one goal. It does however seem that the shock of being a key player last season and now become a squad one due to the large amount of quality brought in by the Qatari owners in the summer is all too much for the Brazilian.
Tensions escalated two weeks ago when Nene had a bust up with Sporting Director Leonardo, in reaction to the former man being left out of the squad to face Porto in a crucial Champions League game. Nene was recently quoted saying: “It’s complicated, I don’t know [but] my head is still in Paris.” and “I’ve always said that I want to stay here. I love Paris. I love the club. I want to stay.” Although Carlo Ancelotti has never stated that Nene is surplus to requirements, the latest scandal suggests that the Brazilian’s time with Les Parisiens is fast approaching its end.
In a scandal we are calling ‘skategate’, Nene was supposedly not involved in PSG’s squad last night to face Lyon because of an injury, but was photographed the evening before ice skating with a friend and DJ, who goes by the name of Hector Fernandez.
Besiktas (6/10 likelihood):
The Turkish giants’s president confirmed an interest in signing the Brazilian winger over 2 months ago now. Even when Nene stated that he would like to remain at PSG at the end of last month the Turkish press was adamant that this would not stop the club from bidding for him in January. At Besiktas one can assume that Nene will feel like a valued member of a team once again. However, Nene has in the past claimed to prefer a move back home to Brazil where he could be with his family.
AC Milan (2/10):
All is not well for AC. As we near the halfway point in domestic seasons across Europe, the Italian giants sit 7th in Serie A. Many argue they are a dying club that has not spent big for a while. It seems clear that owner Sylvio Berlusconi is tighter with funds than in previous years so are Milan really going to fork out a significant sum for a stroppy winger in his 30’s? No substance to this rumour by La Gazzetta Dello Sport at all.
Sao Paulo (8/10):
Possibly the most likely destination for Nene this January, if the club can afford the transfer fee likely to be involved. Nene was born and raised in this city and a large majority of his family still resides there. Sao Paulo may have finished 4th, but financial problems mean that Nene will have to take a sizeable pay cut if this move is to come to fruition.
Arguably the best side in Turkey at the moment. Top of the domestic league by 5 points and into the knockout stages of the Champions League. If Nene were to go to Turkey this should be his number one option, but they seem to be less serious about acquiring the Brazilian than fellow rivals Besiktas. Again, little substance to these rumours.
Now, here’s a club with the funds but perhaps without the ability to compete with the best in the Brazilian Serie A, finishing 8th last season. If Nene were to join them it would be the second time. He spent one year there from 2002-2003 before sealing a move to Europe with Mallorca.
Another Brazilian club with great stature and tradition, Nene spent a year there in the youth team and was quoted in 2008 saying: ‘Even though I only stayed for one year, Corinthians is a truly special club to me’. They are also a side in decline, finishing 20 points of the champions in 6th position.