TugaScout is an English-language site reporting on matters associated with Portuguese football by freelance writer Alex Goncalves, offering the latest news, reviews and opinions surrounding the Portuguese League and the Seleção players based abroad.

Portuguese free agents who remain available to clubs

Portuguese free agents who remain available to clubs

While the European transfer window may now be closed, free agents remain on the market, and clubs up and down the continent may be interested in looking at some of them as a last resort.

One of the most high-profile names on the unattached list is that of Fabio Coentrao. The former Real Madrid, Benfica and Sporting left back, who can also function as a very suitable right back, wasmost recently on the books of Rio Ave.

His contract with the club came to an end in July though, leaving him without a club for the entire summer transfer window. Now in September, that remains the case.

He had come close to signing for Greek champions PAOK, managed by former Braga coach Abel Ferreira, but turned down the offer at the last minute after discussions with his family.

He then came close to joining FC Porto on a two year contract, but on that ocassion Porto turned down the chance to sign him at the last minute after club ultras expressed their irritation at the potential transfer.

As a result, with the new campaign now well under way, the 31-year old full back, who has represented Portugal 52 times at senior level, does not know where his future in footbal lies.

Another Portuguese player who is also still without a club is Rolando. The 33-year old centreback played for Portugal as recently as March 2018, showing that he could still be in and around the fringes of the national team. He also comes with a wealth of experience, having 444 professional appearances at club level to his name.

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.

Another Portuguese free agent is Ricardo Ferreira. Injury prone to say the least, Ricardo Ferreira’s past three seasons have each been disrupted thanks to long-term injuries - and he is still suffering from his knee injury now.

The 26-year old, once deemed one of Portugal’s future centrebacks, has therefore had the worst luck, and the chances of him now adding to his one senior cap are looking incredibly slim.

Another player without a club is Marco Matias, who was most recently on the books of Sheffield Wednesday. The Sporting academy product was a relatively important player for the Championship club last campaign, playing in 31 of their 46 league matches, scoring 6 and assisting 3 in the process, but his inconsistency proved his downfall.

He could still do a good job for another Championship club, though - or equally a return to Portugal to play for a lower table Primeira Liga outfit is also not out of the question.

That is not where the free agent list ends either, with other Portuguese internationals even on the free agents list. In addition to Ricardo Ferreira, Fabio Coentrao and Rolando, 34-year old Silvestre Varela is also without a club, the left winger, who represented Portugal 27 times, most recently playing for Turkish oufit Kayserispor.

Yannick Djalo, who represented Portugal at senior level on one occasion, is another free agent, having last represented Thai club Ratchaburi, while 36-year old Danny, who made a name for himself at Zenit, is another who is currently unattached, his time at Maritimo coming to an end part way through last season.

For a slightly younger option, clubs could also look at Josue, the 28-year old having played for the likes of FC Porto and Galatasaray over the year and most recently represented Akhisarspor. He represented Portugal 4 times, making his debut in 2013.

Rolando. Photo author: Екатерина Лаут.  License link .

Rolando. Photo author: Екатерина Лаут. License link.

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