8 Portuguese and Primeira Liga players that are currently free agents
As we enter mid-July, there are still some Portuguese and Primeira Liga players who remain without a club.
Some of those are former, or current, international footballers, and still have a lot to offer to the game.
Here, we take a look at perhaps the ten most high-profile of those players - and look at who they have been linked with, if anyone:
The former Real Madrid star, who has represented Portugal 52 times in his career, is still only 31 years of age and could do a good job at many a side.
Having represented Rio Ave last season, Coentrao was openly disappointed that former club Sporting CP, who he spent the season prior on loan at, did not attempt to sign him on a permanent deal, and he instead had to join the mid-table Primeira Liga outfit.
One year on from that, though, he’s again a free agent, having played 21 of 34 Primeira Liga matches for Rio Ave last term.
He did a decent job - but likely did not intend to stay at his boyhood club for any longer than a year, and now he’s looking for a new adventure.
The left back, who is also very capable of playing left wing back or even at left wing, has been linked with a move to Brazilian outfit Flamengo to link up with his former manager Jorge Jesus, who coached Coentrao at both Benfica and Sporting.
However, that moves still hasn’t been completed, and who knows if it will ever be, meaning that Coentrao remains a viable option for any side. Could he still do a job in the English Premier League?
A name that Everton fans will likely remember very well, the 33-year old midfielder has come off yet another very good season with Lokomotiv Moscow, having led them to glory in the Russian Premier League the season earlier.
Although not quite as successful as that campaign, the talented attacking midfielder played 20 of the club’s 30 league games last season, scoring 4 and assisting 5 in the process as he helped them earn Champions League football for the second year in a row, while he also set up the goal that won Lokomotiv the Russian Cup at the end of May.
However, his time in Russia may be coming to an end, with the 15-time Portugal international now out of contract and searching for a new club.
There are some suggestions that he could be looking to make a surprise return to Lokomotiv, although ultimately he could be tempted by offers from more prestigious leagues.
This isn’t the first time that Miguel Veloso has been a free agent; last summer, his contract expired with Genoa, and he remained without a club for almost 4 months before eventually rejoining the Italian outfit at the end of October.
Now, however, his contract has once again expired with Genoa - and it would seem unlikely that they would look to renew it again.
Capped 56 times for Portugal, Veloso is a proven and accomplished central midfielder, having represented Portugal at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, as well as at the Euros in 2012, where he helped Portugal reach the semi-final, only to be knocked out by eventual champions Spain on penalties.
Tenacious, composed on the ball and a good reader of the game, it was clear that Veloso still has a huge amount to offer many club’s across the continent.
The defensive midfielder - who is also perfectly adept at being utilised in the left-back position, played 22 of Genoa’s Serie A games in 2017-18 as they secured a 12th place finish in the league. And this season he played nearly as many despite missing the first 3 months of the season, featuring in 21 matches as he helped just about guide Genoa to safety.
He is now expected to sign for newly-promoted Italian side Verona, where he will again link up with former Genoa manager Ivan Juric.
The 33-year old centreback has all the experience you look for in a centreback; with 444 professional appearances at club level to his name, he actually played for Portugal as recently as March 2018, showing that he could still be in and around the fringes of the national team.
Last season wasn’t a particularly successful one for the former Porto defender though. He missed the first third of the season to injury, but quickly became a starter again for Marseille when he returned to full fitness.
However, he was eventually dropped from the team for the final third of the season as well, and as such played just 10 Ligue 1 games all season. He’s a good leader though, and has still got more than enough left in the locker to player for a very respectable club - perhaps back in the Portuguese top flight, or at the lower end of La Liga.
Once considered the future of Portugal’s centreback concerns, how desperately tragic these past three seasons have been for the Braga man.
After a very good 2015-16 campaign where he really cemented himself as a starter for the fourth biggest club in the country, he had an outside chance of making Portugal’s Euro 2016 squad.
But from there, things went down hill quite rapidly for the now 26-year old.
A knee injury kept him out of action for the majority of the 2016-17 campaign, though he did still manage to play 12 of Braga’s Primeira Liga matches that season, ending the season very strongly indeed on a personal level, although ending up on the losing side in 4 out of 7 of his final matches that season.
The following season again started with injury, though he soon came back, and even made his Portugal debut in November 2017. It looked like that could be the start of many for Ferreira, who was still only 25.
But, soon, disaster struck. A recurrence of his knee injury kept him out for the entirety of the second half of the season.
And the most recent 2018-19 campaign was no better - in fact, it was worse. Much worse. That knee injury kept him out of action until January 2019, Ferreira missing the first 4 months of the season. That wasn’t the end of it though. Playing for the Braga B team as he looked to build up fitness, after just 37 minutes of the game, Ferreira damaged his knee again - and he ended up missing the entirety of the season, failing to make a single appearance for the Braga senior team.
As a result, Braga have let him go. And it’s such a pity that injuries have destroyed his season. But could there still be hope? Will he manage to return to football again? He is certainly a very talented centreback, and if someone takes a punt on him, it could prove a very shrewd acquisition.
The Algerian international, who is currently away at the African Cup of Nations, most recently played for FC Porto, and was one of their longest serving players until his time with the Portuguese club came to an end this summer.
Having been at Porto since 2014, the 45-time international is set to embark on a new adventure - and his future is expected to only be made clear once the African Cup of Nations comes to a close.
Strong reports recently emerged from Algeria that the 29-year old winger is to sign for English Premier League outfit Arsenal, although little has been said about that proposed move since.
In any case, Brahimi would be an excellent addition for many a side, especially since he’s currently available on a free, and is likely the most accomplished player on this entire list.
The Spanish international cost FC Porto 11 million euros back in 2014 - and that still only bought the Portuguese giants 60% of his economic rights.
No small fee, and looking back on it, that was one of Porto’s worst value-for-money signings.
Typically so astute at picking up good deals and then selling players on for substantial money later on, Lopez, now 31, leaves on a free transfer, making it a pretty poor investment for Porto.
He did play 52 matches for Porto in those 5 years at the club, scoring 7 and assisting 8 in the process. A relatively decent return for a left midfielder/second striker, though only one of those goals came in the Primeira Liga.
In any case, Lopez is a more than decent footballer, as indicated by the fact that he has even represented the Spanish national team on two occasions. His next club is still unclear, but at 31, he could offer a lot to most sides.
It is believed that Lopetegui’s Sevilla are one of the sides interested in him.
Most recently at Porto, the Uruguayan international is now without a club - and at the age of 35, is approaching the end of his career.
He’s still a very solid footballer though, and has enough left in the tank for a final move somewhere.