Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Brazil: Spartak Moscow Set To Sign Rafael Carioca

Russian side Spartak Moscow are thought to be on the verge of completing an €8million deal for Gremio midfielder Rafael Carioca, with the player expected in Moscow on Tuesday to complete a medical and sign on the dotted line.

Carioca, 19, has been mightily impressive in defensive midfield for Gremio since being given his chance in the first team by coach Celso Roth at the start of the 2008 Brazilian Championship, and had attracted the attention of a number of European clubs, including Fiorentina, Villarreal and Stuggart.

Despite an ever growing list of suitors, it is Spartak who look to have secured the signing of the youngster, with new coach Michael Laudrup keen to add some stability to his midfield ahead of the 2009 Russian season.

Carioca has shown excellent reading of the game from a deep-lying midfield position this term and although he is obviously highly proficient in his positional play and tackling skills, he is also comfortable in possession, able to help his team mount attacks with accurate passes to feet.

Gremio were keen to keep hold of their youth team graduate for their Copa Libertadores campaign in 2009, but such a sizeable offer proved to be too good to turn down in the current economic climate and thus it now seems that Carioca is set for Russia.

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