Anzhi reveal interest in Benfica’s Lima
Anzhi sporting director Roberto Carlos has heaped praise on Benfica striker Lima, hinting the Russian club could make a move on the Brazilian striker.
With the winter transfer window in Russia open until 27th February, free-spending club from Makhachkala have been linked with a number of star players over the last few weeks.
Anzhi are now considering a move for Benfica striker Lima, according to club sporting director Roberto Carlos.
“I know him well. He is a player who is on our list of footballers with great references,” former Real Madrid star explained to O Jogo.
“In my opinion, he is one of the best strikers in the world at the moment,” Carlos added.
Lima, 29, only joined Benfica last summer, but has been in scintillating form since arriving in a €4.5 million move from Sporting Braga.
He has scored a total of 18 goals in 26 competitive matches for the Eagles, thus quickly paying back the money invested in him.
Benfica chiefs are now eager to keep hold of their prized asset, but it is highly unlikely they would be able to resist a big money offer from Anzhi.
Napoli keen on Obiang, Xhaka
Napoli are showing interest in talented midfielders Pedro Obiang and Granit Xhaka, according to Il Corriere dello Sport.
The Azzurri missed out on Sampdoria striker Mauro Icardi on transfer deadline day, but they plan to reignite their interest come summer transfer window.
Napoli are even pondering a double swoop for Doria starlets, given they are keeping close tabs on midfielder Pedro Obiang.
Walter Mazzarri is somewhat short of options in the centre of the park and is eager to add a talented midfielder to more experienced Gokhan Inler, Valon Behrami and Blerim Dzemaili.
Sampdoria’s Pedro Obiang is currently on top of their hit-list, while Borussia M’gladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka seems to be an alternative solution.
Xhaka, 20, is currently unhappy at being a bit-part player for die Fohlen and he would probably jump at the opportunity to be reunited with international teammates Inler, Behrami and Dzemaili.
Meanwhile, the Azzurri are also considering a summer move for Lazio defender Modibo Diakite, whose contract at Stadio Olimpico is set to expire.
Lucho Figueroa set for Panathinaikos move
French newspaper L’Equipe understands that Argentine striker Luciano Figueroa is set to sign a short-term deal with Panathinaikos.
The 31-year-old has just been released from his contract at Emelec and has agreed to sign for the Greek giants until the end of the season.
Panathinaikos will have the option to automatically extend his contract for another two years at the end of the current campaign.
Figueroa will sign a contract later today subject to passing a medical at Olympiako Stadio Syros Louis in Athens.
Following an impressive start to his career at Rosario Central, the Argentine forward had a very short spell at Birmingham City, before moving to Cruz Azul.
Good showings in Mexico earned him a lucrative move to Villarreal, but he failed to prove his worth at El Madrigal and was sold to Genoa in 2006.
After struggling in Italian Serie A, Figueroa returned to Argentina, where he managed to get his career back on track, with a move to Panathinaikos serving as a new opportunity to leave his mark on European football.