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Bebe set to join Rio Ave on loan; Butland ready for top flight

Manchester United forward Bebe is closing in on a loan move to Portuguese Primeira Liga side Rio Ave F.C. ahead of the winter transfer window, according to Rio Grande club president Antonio Silva Campos.

Bebe, 22, joined Manchester United in August 2010 for a reported fee of £7.4 million from Vitória de Guimarães after spending just five weeks at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques in Guimarães.

Despite netting two goals in his first seven club appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils, Bebe has not featured in Sir Alex Ferguson’s match day squad since the 2010-11 season.

The Portuguese forward spent last season on loan at Turkish Super League giants Beşiktaş, but was relegated to the sidelines for the majority of his loan spell in Turkey after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament while on international duty with Portugal’s Under-21 team.

Bebe is expected to reach an agreement to join Rio Ave on loan as soon as Wednesday night, Antonio Silva Campos has revealed.

“He [Bebe] is one of the players who should be just hours away from joining, but there are still some details left to address. His signing could be announced very shortly,” Campos told Renascenca.

Rio Ave F.C. are currently fifth in the Portuguese Primeira Liga table, 14 points behind unbeaten table-toppers Benfica despite having netted just 16 goals in 12 league games.

Butland ready for top flight

Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland is ready to test himself at the highest level thanks in large part to the experience he accumulated at the 2012 London Olympics and at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, the Daily Mail understands.

Butland, 19, is reportedly attracting interest from a number of clubs in England’s top flight, including the likes of Merseyside rivals Everton and Liverpool as well as from Premier League newcomers Southampton and West Ham United.

The 19-year-old shot-stopper is valued at £6 million, and could be sold when the transfer window reopens in January due to the club’s current financial situation.

Butland has started all 24 league games for the Blues this season, keeping five clean sheets.

“I have got confidence in my ability, I would always back myself,” Butland told the Mirror.

“I have been fortunate to play in quite a few big stadiums and I’d like to think I have handled myself very well.

“I don’t think the occasion would be a problem. I’d back myself and my ability. I want to be playing at the top level for as long as I can in my career.”

According to reports, Liverpool are the front-runners to land Butland despite the club having re-signed Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones to a long-term extension earlier this month, fueling speculation that Spain international Pepe Reina could be sold in January.

Sat 29 December, 2012
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