The soap opera around Andrija Živković made the biggest upheaval during the transfer period. I wrote two individual blogposts about it. In the first you can read about the reasons behind as well as the media war between Ivica Iliev and the Živković family, while in the second you find details about Pini Zahavi (who is the main figure behind this long and painful drama), also you can see what kind of methods the team’s management tried to make Živković sign another contract.
Of course the Živković-saga hasn’t ended yet. The final episode (or at least the next season) will come some time in the beginning of the summer.
On 17th January FK Partizan signed Ivory Coast player Cédric Gogoua. Gogua plays as a defender, he is 21 years old
though there had been rumours about his actual age. Some sources claimed he is at least 23 if not older, but there has been no confirmation, nor deny about it
and he signed to Partizan for 4 years.
In the meantime there had been rumours about Zoran Milinković as well. The ex-head coach is allegedly still the employee of FK Partizan - but this time as a scout.
Partizan’s ice hockey team got five new players from Russia: 29-year-old Anton Zhukov, 25-year-old Alexander Vlasov, 26-year-old Aleksey Tifonov, 27-year-old Igor Zubov and 25-year-old Stepan Krivov.
Meanwhile a very nerve-racking period of the transfer season started, titled as "should he stay or should he go"
like a twisted cover of the classic song by The Clash
around three players: Ivan Bandalovski, Valeri Bojinov and Aboubakar Oumarou.
For long it looked that Ivan Bandalovski must leave ul. Humska. Head coach Ivan Tomić allegedly made it clear that he does not need the Bulgarian defender, he is free to go wherever he wants. Yet some time in the first days of February the management changed their mind and quickly extended the contract with Bandalovski. So, Bandalovski will stay, his place is as solid as a piece of concrete.
Valeri Bojinov was on the list of an unnamed Chinese team. Partizan’s price for the Bulgarian striker was 2 million euros, the Chinese part offered 1 million. For quite a while it seemed, Partizan will still make a deal, but eventually the business failed to get done.
Bojinov in the meantime had a sad tour in the Serbian media claiming that he doesn’t want to leave Partizan at all, but he knows well that the club is in a very bad financial condition because of the Živković-case, and he certainly puts the team’s interest ahead of his own. But, sighed Bojinov, how much I would have wanted to win an eternal derby with Partizan and to score at least 12 goals in the season.
Well, you got the chance, meatball. But then keep on scoring those goals, because I fucking won’t have enough nerves to count your missed-out chances.
Yet it’s still not clear what happens to Aboubakar Oumarou. He also got an offer from China. The offer seemed to be very serious, the press even got informations about the alleged price (1,2 million euros), Aboubakar was told to pack his suitcases, because he is going to China.
Then he didn’t.
It was that time of the year when Chinese people celebrated the Lunar New Year. It’s the biggest holiday in China, it lasts at least for a week. The Chinese negotiator just said, they’d be back after the holiday season, then they disappeared. At Partizan the management was just shrugging being puzzled, then Iliev appeared in front of the press and said, all right, then Aboubakar stays at Partizan, because (citation!) the management carefully considered the interests of the team and they thought that it would definitely be for Partizan’s best interest if the Cameroonian stayed in Belgrade.
They obviously realized that if they sell Aboubakar, there will be only 2 (two) strikers left: Bojinov and Fofana, who just returned back from loan. There are two youngsters as well, 17-year-old Đorđe Jovanović and 16-year-old Dušan Vlahović, who are both extremely talented, but well, in some cases routine and experience are essential.
Only one day passed after Iliev’s announcement, when the Chinese negotiator sent their official offer for Aboubakar (price tag: 1 million euros). So, Iliev took a deep breath
I imagine how hard he could be sweating
stepped again to the journalists and announced that well, erm, ahem, you know, we may actually still sell out our Cameroonian player for a special bargain. That’s how things stand at the moment, as soon as there’s any more news, everyone will be informed.
The other big event of the transfer season was that Nikola Ninković signed to Italian team Genoa, but he was put immediately on loan to Chievo until the end of the season.
Partizan terminated the contract with several players. Nikola Trujić was discharged on 1st February. Fabricio was sent back to Brazil. Predrag Luka was also fired. Filip Knežević left by himself and signed to Čukarički. Among "black sheeps" only Živko Živković stayed at Partizan, but he is exiled to Teleoptik together with the other Živković, Andrija.
There were news about the possible selling of Vulićević, too - Turkish team Sivasspor wanted to buy him, but they couldn’t agree, as Iliev reported later. Russian team Rubin Kazan wanted to sign Marko Jevtović, but Partizan priced him to 2,5 million euros, and that was too much for the Russians.
Other than them there were those whom Partizan would have wanted to sign, but failed: Dino Ndlovu from South Africa (his club didn’t want to sell him), Seydouba Soumah from Guinea (no info about why this signing failed, it looked almost 100 % sure) as well as Léandre Tawamba from Cameroon (his team priced him for 1,25 million, that was too much for Partizan).
As a summary, 6 players arrived (Marko Jovanović, Bojan Šaranov, Nemanja Mihajlović, Luiz Everton, Cédric Gogoua + Fofana returned from loan) - 8 players left (Babović, Grbić, Fabricio, Šaponjić, Ninković, Trujić, Luka, Knežević) and two other players’ fate is still not clear (Andrija Živković, Aboubakar Oumarou). I do not say any predictions, we will see everything this weekend.
Until then here is a fresh, crispy team photo about FK Partizan.