This January transfer window is quite bizarre. As all Reds fans will know, the transfer window is usually silly season for the Greek media with stories linking Olympiakos with all sorts of far fetched targets from all corners of the globe. This window is unusually quiet on the transfer rumour front. It may well be Silva’s style to keep his cards close to his chest, or it may well be that there is that little transfer activity on the horizon. Here is a brief overview of what few stories have featured in the press recently.
There is a deathly silence regarding any potential incoming transfers at the Karaiskakis, so it looks as though Silva is content with the squad he has at his disposal. In recent games he has entrusted the likes of Tsimikas, Zdjelar and Pulido – all of which who haven’t let the Portuguese manager down when given their chance. Even if one or two faces were to leave this month, Silva seems happy to rely on the current members of the squad to see out the remainder of the season successfully.
The only player of note linked with a move to Piraeus in recent weeks was Fiorentina striker, Giuseppe Rossi. While a move for the player was a mouth-watering prospect for the Superleague, the rumours were quickly quashed, with the Italy international securing a loan move back to Spain with La Liga side Levante.
So, as that deal came to nothing that really is the only real news regarding players coming in. Maybe Marco Silva has a last minute surprise tucked up his sleeve, or maybe he simply is a manager that doesn’t feel the need to make signings needlessly, simply because we can. Should this be his approach, then it will be a breath of fresh air to the club.
Outgoing transfer stories are even scarce this transfer window. No news on potential moves for Kasami or Masuaku are surprising as the media has been flooded with these tales in the previous two windows. This will be pleasing to Thrylos fans, as Pajtim Kasami has been in superb form this season.
Augsburg’s name resurfaces as the most likely suitor for Alfred Finnbogason, who looks destined to cut his loan spell short with Thrylos after half a season. A number of clubs have been linked with the Iceland international hitman, including French giants Marseille. It is the German Europa League representative leading the way, however, the Bavarian side are currently in talks with Real Sociedad to try and finalise a deal.
Should Finnbogason leave it seems as though no replacement will be sought, as Alan Pulido looks set to be given his chance in the side. Pulido came off the bench mid-week and was given a starting role in yesterday’s home win with Xanthi, in which he scored the only goal of the game.
News stories have emerged this month linking Omar Elabdellaoui with a move away from the port. Speculation has linked the right back with potential moves to West Ham in the Premier League and Portugal’s Benfica. These two potential moves first were heard of back in the summer, but came to nothing. Greek media has resurrected these stories, but there has been no such stories in the English press on a West Ham move for the player. This does not mean there are not interested parties for the player, far from it, Omar Elabdellaoui has put in some magnificent performances while on international duty with Norway. Elabdellaoui’s name is starting to travel far and wide and a big move is inevitable in the future, but in the short term, I think these stories can be ignored.
The final story of real significance concerns the club captain, Giannis Maniatis. Since the World Cup in Brazil, the 38 cap star has become almost the forgotten man of Greek football. Early reports suggested Maniatis did not feature in the plans for the remainder of this season. The player was deemed to be significantly lacking in match fitness and in need of a loan move to get back up to speed before being considered for inclusion in the Thrylos squad. Finding a club for him posed great problems, being one of the top earners at the club there were no Greek or Italian clubs that could afford to take on a player of his worth not match fit. It seems as though Maniatis will be given the opportunity of rehabilitation with Olympiakos after all, having been included in recent match day squads.