Two new players arrived at the football team right after the end of the autumn season. Marko Jovanović, defender, played for Voždovac previously. Bojan Šaranov, goalkeeper, spent 7 seasons at OFK Beograd, being on loan at a number of other teams. Before Partizan he played for Ergotelis in Greece.
Just a few days after signing the contract with Partizan Šaranov went out to party - with not else than the former players of the neighbouring red-striped team as well as their current team captain. The phenomenal night was eternalized on Instagram - it’s still there, the players celebrate with a big bottle of whisky. If you don’t mind, I won’t upload or embed the photo, because I do not want to puke. If you still want to see it, I give you a link of a news site, where you can take a look. Enjoy (or not).
It also means that Živko Živković will probably not needed anymore in ul. Humska. Živković told a few times to the media that he would probably not start the spring season with Partizan, but still he could not sign to any other team yet. (He is even included in the name list of those players who travel with Partizan to Cyprus for a winter training camp.)
Indirectly, but still a winter transfer event for a (former) Partizan-player: Slaviša Jokanović signed for the head coach post of FC Fulham.
At the end of December Nemanja Mihajlović was signed from Rad. Meanwhile Partizan’s basketball player Danilo Anđušić confirmed that he would not extend his contract with the team. In the first week of January he signed to Polish team Anwil Wloclawek.
The football team’s new head coach, Ivan Tomić started his job at Partizan at the end of December as well. He was signed after Ljubinko Drulović had been discharged at the end of the autumn season. Tomić started it fair and square, he openly told he would not need a number of players. He even told names: Stefan Babović and Petar Grbić was clearly not in the new coach’s favour. The media mentioned even Bojinov and Fabricio, too.
As for Stefan Babović, Partizan terminated the contract with him right today. The official statement stated "mutual agreement". There’s no reliable information about Fabricio, but he is not included among those who travel to Cyprus for training camp. Petar Grbić signed to Turkish super league team Akhisaspor on the first week of January.
The Andrija Živković-saga started on the very last day of December. There is only one thing sure, that the young midfielder will not stay at Partizan. During the past days/weeks the most bizarre rumours were circulating about him: sports sites claimed that Borussia Dortmund wanted to sign him, then Benfica popped up as a possible future team. A Chinese team offered 1,3 million euros for him, but Partizan rejected it. In the meantime Živković got a new manager: his contract expired with the previous one, Pini Zahavi from Israel and they did not extend it. His new manager is Predrag Đorđević.
Yes, it’s THAT Pini Zahavi, who had a long number of controversial steps, mostly about players’ rights and transfer money, and not only with Andrija Živković.
Partizan got offers for other players, too: Bojinov was targeted by Spanish and Chinese clubs, but on one hand Partizan demanded at least 2 million euros from him, on the other Bojinov told to the media (in his usual style...) that he wouldn’t leave ul. Humska until he can win at least one eternal derby, and/or he scores at least 12 goals in a season. Aboubakar and Brašanac was also among those who could be (or could have been) sold. Clubs from China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey wanted to sign the Cameroonian, Partizan priced him for 1,5 million euros. (Aboubakar was also not included among those players who travel to Cyprus.) Brašanac got offers from two renowned Belgian clubs; one of them offered 2,7 million euros for the midfielder, but Partizan management told them, Brašanac was not for sale.
Among those who possibly arrive at Partizan, the first two names were two Romanian players (Denis Alibec and Constantin Budescu), but head coach Tomić later denied the rumours. Brazilian/Belorussian Renan Bressan was also mentioned, but these news were denied by Iliev. As always, in almost every transfer season, Cléo's name also came up. The Brazilian would gladly return to Partizan, but Iliev said, there are serious obstacles in the way.
The other big soap opera of the winter transfer season is the story of Vojvodina, Partizan and Mirko Ivanić. Partizan wants to sign Vojvodina’s midfielder since forever, yet negotiations always come to a halt after a while. Vojvodina constantly turns the price of the player higher and higher, while Partizan claimed, they can’t and don’t want to pay more than 1 million euros for Ivanić.
Nota bene: the neigbouring striped team also checked in at Vojvodina with an offer for Ivanić. They would pay 1,4 million euros. The funniest/most tragic fact is though that it’s Ivanić himself whom nobody actually asked what he wants. He admitted to a sports site that he in fact doesn’t want to sign to any of these two teams, because he’d prefer to go abroad, but it’s highly possible that his current club will put the kid under very heavy pressure so that eventually he will have to sign to one or the other.
The biggest boom of the transfer season was definitely Ivan Šaponjić signing to SL Benfica for five and a half years.
The price was allegedly 3 million euros or so (there was another version that he would have been sold for only 1,5 million, but then he stays at Partizan on loan for the end of the season, but it seems he stays in Lisbon).
Finally, the punch line: Duško Vujošević signed to French team Limoges as head coach, this way he can work again with two of his former players, Léo Westermann and Bo McCalebb.
As the closing of this blogpost here is a photo about the football players getting ready for the training camp in Cyprus. And those who think it's Ismael Beko Fofana on the left side of the photo, well, they are right.
The second part of the highlights will be posted at the end of the transfer season.