Daniel Podence

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Wolves signs Olympiakos attacker Daniel Podence

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Wolverhampton Wanderers completed the club’s first winter signing a day before the deadline, bringing in Olympiakos forward Daniel Podence on a four-and-a-half year deal.

A Sporting CP youth product, Podence has spent two year with the Greek side, scoring 13 goals and assisting 14 more in 68 appearances across all competitions. The 24-year-old scored a goal against Spurs back in September in a 2-2 Champions League group stage meeting.

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Podence’s arrival grows an already heavy Portuguese presence at Wolves, with experienced internationals Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho both already playing major roles for Wolves, plus highly rated assets in Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota. Podence has yet to earn his first international cap for Portugal, but was involved in the November Euro 2020 qualifiers, on the bench as an unused substitute for the 6-0 win over Lithuania.

No fee was reported publicly in the Wolves release, but reports have the cost at around $22 million, which would represent nearly a tripling of his value from the $7.7 million Olympiakos purchased him for two years ago.

“I’m very excited. It was always a childhood dream of mine to play in the Premier League and I look at this achievement as a dream come true,” Podence said to the club website upon announcement of the signing. “Wolves are a team with a big project, with ambitious goals to look forward to, where I’ll get to meet former team-mates with whom I had the pleasure to play with in the past and I hope to be very successful here. My individual goals are to play as much as possible, help the team with goals and assists and collectively, I’d like to qualify for the Champions League. That is a goal that’s within our reach, and I hope we can have a better season than last year.”

Transfer rumor roundup: Werner prefers Liverpool, Bentaleb to Newcastle

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Names both familiar and unfamiliar continue to be linked with moves to the Premier League as the January transfer window heats up.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Earlier we posted about Edinson Cavani and Mbwana Samatta, but a younger prolific scorer is having a run through the rumor mill on Monday.

Bild reports that RB Leipzig free scorer Timo Werner’s preferred destination is a club in the Premier League managed by a famous German.

No, it’s not Daniel Farke‘s Norwich City, rather Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool (you gleaned that already, didn’t you?).

Klopp is a reportedly a long-time Werner admirer, and the 23-year-old’s $67 million release clause is not prohibitive for the Reds.

The move would seemingly have to wait until summer given Leipzig’s status as a Bundesliga table leader and Liverpool’s comfort with Roberto Firmino as its number one.

The 28-year-old Firmino has been  greatfor Liverpool, firing in 75 goals and 56 assists since 2015, but Werner is a beast. He’s bagged 86 goals and 37 assists since arriving from Stuttgart in 2016, including 20 goals and six assists this Bundesliga season through 18 matches.

There’s obviously no guarantee he’d reach Firmino’s levels, but watching him play makes it difficult to believe he wouldn’t.


Inter Milan has lodged a formal bid for Christian Eriksen, offering approximately $14 million for the wantaway Dane.

Spurs want $8 million more than that, but Inter is hoping that some performance-based incentives would be enough to get the job done.

The 27-year-old can negotiate with anyone since his contract runs out this summer, and he’ll be bringing a resume with 95 international caps and a combined 101 goals and 154 assists between Tottenham and Ajax.


Newcastle United is still chasing Valentino Lazaro of Inter Milan, but reports claim they’ve quickly moved on a target for the center of the park.

Nabil Bentaleb is reportedly on Tyneside for a medical, the ex-Spurs man finding a more attacking role at Schalke before being frozen out by new boss David Wagner.

Bentaleb, still just 25, has 19 goals and nine assists in 97 matches for Schalke after getting just one and six in 66 appearances for Spurs.

The 35-times capped Algerian, like Lazaro, would be a loan deal with an option to buy.


Finally, the BBC says Wolves are looking to strengthen its wings with $26 million Olympiacos man Daniel Podence.

The 24-year-old has five goals and five assists in 27 appearances for the Greeks, scoring against Spurs and Krasnodar in Champions League play.

The same report has Wolves looking to the future with 19-year-old Ecuadorian striker Leonardo Campana.

Spurs blow 2-goal lead in draw at Olympiacos

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Tottenham Hotspur wasted a 2-0 lead on the road in Athens as another Premier League club came up short in its Champions League opener, drawing 2-2 with Olympiacos.

Harry Kane bagged a 26th minute penalty and Lucas Moura doubled the lead on the half-hour mark, but Daniel Podence and Mathieu Valbuena – by far the Greeks’ two most incisive players throughout the match – were on hand to erase the lead and rescue a point for the hosts.

Kane’s opening goal made him the third-fastest player to reach 15 Champions League goals, needing just 20 matches to reach the mark. He profited with a penalty blasted straight down the middle, sending a helpless Jose Sa the wrong way. Moura, last season’s Champions League hero, again came up big in European play with a right-footed rocket from just outside the top of the penalty area.

Unfortunately, it all broke down from there. Podence, who was an absolute menace down the right for Olympiacos, clawed one back just before halftime on a brilliant counter. Valbuena delivered a wonderful through-ball for a full-speed Podence and Portuguese winger’s exceptional first touch got him away from chasing defenders for a far-post finish.

Valbuena was also excellent on the ball, overloading the right flank often. He was on hand to deliver an equalizing penalty in the 54th minute after a foul by Jan Vertonghen. It is Valbuena’s first goal in Champions League play since he stunned Borussia Dortmund with an 87th minute winner that sent Lyon through to the knockout round. Questions will be asked of Olympiacos manager Pedro Martins who withdrew Valbuena with 20 minutes to go, which baffled many and left the hosts with little attacking mentality down the stretch.

Dele Alli had a chance to give Spurs the lead again past the hour mark, but his low shot from distance was fabulously saved by Sa who got big and stuck out his right boot to clip the effort wide. As Spurs poured on the pressure late, Erik Lamela forced another save by Sa with a tight-angled shot to the near post. After Chelsea and Liverpool both fell on the road in Champions League play on Tuesday, the draw felt like a defeat for the Londoners.

Almost unprecedented: Sporting Lisbon facing exodus, free agent frenzy

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There is an almost unbelievable state of play at one of the world’s most successful clubs right now.

That club is Sporting CP, the group that has been home to Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, and William Carvalho.

That last name is part of our story today.

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When last we checked in with the Lisbon club, its players had been attacked mid-training session by a mob of supposed fans following the club’s failure to land its near-annual berth in the UEFA Champions League. This came a month after the club’s entire first team was suspended after a row with its president.

Sporting had spent four seasons in the UCL, rebounding from its lone season outside Portugal’s Top Four since 1976.

Now many on its laundry list of high-priced talents could be leaving the club for free, potentially setting one of the most storied clubs in Portugal back to its very roots.

Bas Dost, William Carvalho, Gelson Martins, and Bruno Fernandes reportedly requested to break their contracts on Monday, joining goalkeeper Rui Patricio and Daniel Podence.

Dost scored 27 league goals this season, and joined Fernandes and Martins as Top 15 performers according to WhoScored. Carvalho, the big 26-year-old midfielder, was 21st.

Sporting has done a remarkable job identifying talent from without and growing talent from within, only once spending more than $14 million on a player (Dost) while selling 11 individuals for that much or more (Adrien Silva, Ruben Semedo, Joao Mario, Islam Slimani, Marcos Rojo, Bruma, Joao Moutinho, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo, Hugo Viana, Aldo Duscher).

Only a cursory search through our pages finds several of Sporting’s want-aways in the gossip section for almost thrice that figure. Carvalho (and/or Sporting) has resisted interest of as much as $50 million, often connected with Jose Mourinho. Dost has been linked with Newcastle, and Patricio said to be making a move to PL new boys Wolves.

To lose these players for free, largely because of an attack from “supporters” is bonkers. And in your gut, you have to think the players stand a very good chance of being allowed to leave for safety reasons, making for an unexpected sort of free agent frenzy.

How long would it take for a club to rebound from that, and how far could Sporting sink on the table? Fortunately, it would have some time to rebuild for its Europa League run, but wow.