Portuguese clubs ache for premier league players – ‘Survival Specialist’ Allardyce off at Leeds

Portuguese clubs ache for premier league players – ‘Survival Specialist’ Allardyce off at Leeds

Portuguese clubs ache for Kökçü, Sugawara and Kerkez

Portuguese sports newspapers are talking about three premier league players today. Orkun Kökçü appears on the front page of A Bola, as he is said to be coveted by Benfica. Coach Roger Schmidt sees in the captain of national champion Feyenoord the ideal addition to his current midfield, which already has a former Feyenoord player with Fredrik Aursnes.

Kökçü is still fixed at De Kuip until mid-2025, but Benfica has ample financial resources. Indeed, the club sold midfielder Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea in January for a whopping 121 million euros.

AZ backs

Yukinari Sugawara stands, according to sports newspaper O Jogo in the interest of Sporting Portugal. Scouts from the Lisbon club are said to be impressed with AZ’s Japanese right-back, “but it will be complicated to capture him.”

His teammate Milos Kerkez could leave for thisflde club as Kökçu. “Kerkez on his way to Benfica,” headlines A Bola. With a message on Instagram thanking teammates, staff and supporters, the Hungarian left-back seemed to be saying goodbye to AZ as early as this week.

Utrecht lights option to buy Sagnan

Modibo Sagnan

FC Utrecht is definitively acquiring Modibo Sagnan from Real Sociedad. The French defender signs with the premier league club until mid-2026.

The 24-year-old defender was already rented last season and played 24 duels (one goal). Utrecht uses the option to buy in the rental contract.

“Modibo has impressed since his arrival in Utrecht, both inside and outside the lines. As a defender he is strong and as an athlete he is a true professional: he is intrinsically motivated and wants to get the most out of himself during every training session and every match,” said FC Utrecht technical director Jordy Zuidam.

Who do you call when you are in danger of being relegated from the Premier League? Big Sam Allardyce, of course, who in the past has steered several sinking ships into the safe harbor after all. Leeds also came to him shortly before the end of last season.

But even Survival Specialist Allardyce could no longer save that club from ruin. Leeds also fell short in the closing stages of the season and were relegated to the Championship.

An adventure at the second tier no longer saw Allardyce at the age of 68. “At this stage of my career I didn’t know if I should take up this challenge, because it could be a long-term project,” he said.

Success coach Will Still longer at Reims

Stade Reims has extended the contract with the very young coach Will Still (30) until the summer of 2027. Under the Belgian coach, the team remained unbeaten as many as 17 games in a row this season. Still led the team from the relegation zone to a safe 11th place in the Ligue 1.

Because of his good performances and the genial way Still treats his players, he has quickly gained a cult status in France. Nicolas Still (26), the coach’s younger brother, will serve as assistant starting next season.

Slovak record international Marek Hamsik quits

Marek Hamsik is ending his career as a professional footballer. The record Slovak international (136 international matches) announced his farewell at a press conference at his Turkish club Trabzonspor, where he was under contract for the past two seasons. “It is not an easy decision, but it has been a wonderful adventure,” said the 35-year-old midfielder.

For most of his nearly 20-year career, Hamsik played in Serie A at Napoli. There he reached 520 games and 121 goals in 12 seasons. He won the Coppa Italia, the Italian Cup, twice. After brief adventures in China and Sweden, he captured the title with Trabzonspor, the first in 38 years for the Turkish club. Hamsik had already retired from the Slovak national team last year.

Marek Hamsik

Feyenoord says goodbye to six players (for now)

Feyenoord bid farewell today to six players who were part of last season’s champion team. At training complex 1908, Ofir Marciano, Timon Wellenreuther, Tein Troost, Oussama Idrissi, Jacob Rasmussen and Sebastian Szymanski received a photo plaque, as a memento of their time in Rotterdam. Coach Arne Slot addressed the players.

Rasmussen (Fiorentina) and Idrissi (Sevilla) return to their own clubs this summer after being rented out to Feyenoord last season. Troost continues his career with NAC Breda. For Marciano, whose contract expires, Wellenreuther and Szymanski (both rented) the option of a longer stay is kept open.

Feyenoord begin preparation for the new season on Tuesday, July 4.

Orange goalkeeper Flekken to Premier League, signs for four years at Brentford

Mark Flekken is moving to England’s Brentford. The London club finished ninth in the Premier League last year. The goalkeeper, who played four international matches for the Oranje, has signed for four years.

Brentford reportedly paid 13 million euros for Flekken. The 29-year-old Flekken had been keeping for Germany’s SC Freiburg since 2018. Last season he achieved thirteen clean sheets, the highest in the entire Bundesliga.

“If you had told me seven years ago, when I was playing in Germany’s third division, that one day I would be playing in the Premier League, I would have called you crazy,” Flekken said. “It’s a dream come true and my next step.”

AZ transfers talents to A squad

Wouter Goes, Mexx Meerdink, Rome-Jayden Owusu-Oduro and Lewis Schouten are part of AZ’s A-selection next season. Ernest Poku also returns to the main squad of the number 4 of the Eredivisie. The five talents won the prestigious Youth League last season with the highest youth team of their club.

Goes, Meerdink and Poku have already made their debuts in the first team. Owusu-Oduro and Schouten were on the bench at a first-team match, but they were not allowed to fill in.

Bozdogan definitely to Utrecht

FC Utrecht is definitively acquiring Can Bozdogan from Schalke 04. The 22-year-old German midfielder, who already played last season on a rental basis with Utrecht, signs a contract until the summer of 2026.

Bozdogan came to 24 games in the premier league this season in which he scored once. From mid-February to mid-April, he was sidelined with an injury. “Over the past year, Can has shown added value and has become an important link within the team,” said Jordy Zuidam, FC Utrecht’s technical director.

Schalke were relegated from the Bundesliga last weekend.

Can Bozdogan

FC Groningen talks to Robben

FC Groningen is in talks with Arjen Robben, according to RTV Noord. The club relegated from the premier league wants to bind the former international as youth coach.

Robben ended his soccer career two seasons ago at FC Groningen, at the club where he also once made his debut as a professional soccer player. Last year, he took his first step as a trainer, with Be Quick’s youth team. Robben has two sons, Luka and Kai, who will play in the youth team of FC Groningen starting next season.

Ajax looks at players in Sweden

Häcken’s sporting director informs Sportsbladet that Ajax came to view two players on Monday. They are said to be striker Bénie Traoré (20) and midfielder Amane Romeo (19).

Both Ivorians have been brisk lately in Sweden’s top division, with Traoré in particular standing out for his 10 goals in 11 games this season. By the way, they are both still fixed until the end of 2026, so Ajax will have to dig deep if it decides to take further action.

Wilms extends contract at top club Wolfsburg

Soccer international Lynn Wilms has extended her contract with Champions League finalist VfL Wolfsburg until the summer of 2025. The 22-year-old former FC Twente defender is in her second season in Germany, where she took the national title last year. Wilms also won the German Cup twice.

“I am enjoying myself at Wolfsburg and it feels very good to stay here longer,” Wilms believes. “Wolfsburg is a great club with top players, who motivate me tremendously and make me better.” Wilms, along with Jill Roord and Dominique Janssen, will face FC Barcelona on Saturday in Eindhoven in the Champions League final.

Lynn Wilms and Dominique Janssen after winning the DFB Pokal with VfL Wolfsburg

Emmen has new director

FC Emmen wants to develop into a stable club in the premier league with Rinse Bleeker as general manager. The number sixteen of last season – the Drenten still have to secure survival via the nacompetition – has a new top man with Bleeker as of July 1.

Chairman Ronald Lubbers is absent from Emmen for the time being due to health problems.

“In our search for a general manager, we focused on a connector with a lot of managerial experience and affinity with (top) sports,” board member Herman Harms announced. “We are convinced that with Rinse we have found this combination. In addition, in our talks he has shown to have the same northern sobriety that suits us perfectly.” In recent years Bleeker was general manager at Sportstad Heerenveen.

Ten Hag wants reinforcements: ‘Have to invest’

Erik ten Hag has stated several times in recent days that he thinks Manchester United should pull out the purse strings to get new players this summer. Because despite his team being on the right track, more is needed to really attack the top. “If you want to compete in this league, you have to invest,” Ten Hag said.

After the last league game he already hinted at several summer purchases, in an interview in The Times he repeated that call this Monday. Ten Hag says that all the clubs that want to compete for Champions League places strengthened considerably last winter. Ten Hag had to make do with mercenaries such as Wout Weghorst.

In particular, the striker position needs to be strengthened, says the Dutch manager. Who finished third in the Premier League with Man United and plays the FA Cup final against Manchester City next weekend.

Scotland’s vice-top scorer must help Groningen get goals

FC Groningen is interested in 31-year-old Kevin van Veen, RTV Noord reports. The Dutch striker scored 25 goals last season in the Scottish Premiership for Motherwell. Only Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic scored more goals at the highest Scottish level (27).

Van Veen has a special history. He did not break through in the Netherlands with Helmond Sport and then returned to the amateurs and went to work as a plasterer. He did that top TOP Oss offered him a new chance. At that club, Van Veen earned a transfer to English side Scunthorpe United, which was then operating at England’s third professional level.

That club also loaned him to Cambuur for a short time, but there his goal production stopped. Then Van Veen ended up in Scotland again via Scunthorpe and Northampton. Now relegated Groningen wants to snatch him away in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League.

PSV reports to Spierings’ agent.

Toulouse’s good play is likely to earn not only Branco van den Boomen, but also Stijn Spierings a transfer. According to both VI and the Eindhovens Dagblad, PSV have reported to Spierings’ agent.

The 27-year-old former player of Sparta and RKC Waalwijk is transfer-free and thus an interesting target. Several clubs are said to be interested.

Spierings is a base player at the French club. Before his time in France, Spierings also played for Levski Sofia.

Ajax gets ‘proud’ Branco van den Boomen

Midfielder Branco van den Boomen will play for Ajax next season. The Amsterdam club has committed the midfielder until the 2026/2027 season. “I am very happy that we were able to capture him, he could choose from a lot of clubs,” said technical director Sven Mislintat on Ajax’s club channel.

Van den Boomen played in youth at Ajax and made his debut in professional soccer at Jong Ajax. He then played in the Netherlands for FC Eindhoven, SC Heerenveen and De Graafschap. Van den Boomen is especially proud to play at Ajax again. “I am proud of myself and proud that I can come and play at this beautiful club again. The biggest club in the Netherlands.”

The past three seasons the 27-year-old midfielder played in France with Toulouse. With that club he became champion at the second level. Last season, he won the French Cup with Toulouse.

Van den Boomen’s contract expires this summer, so he comes to Amsterdam free of charge.

Kayleigh Williams