Sporting Sign Maxwell
Sporting Clube de Portugal have pulled off a shock transfer coup, after announcing the loan signing of Maxwell from French giants Paris Saint-Germain, after just a few weeks in the French capital. The Brazilian defender moved to the oil-rich club in July, from Catalan club Barcelona for £3.5m, but somehow managed to upset many of the staff employed at PSG, and found himself down in the reserve side within weeks of his arrival.
This is Matthaus' third signing as Sporting manager, with Xabi Castillo and Mattheus the first two. Most of the Sporting fans have taken to online message boards to sing Maxwell's praises, and understandably so, seeing as the 30-year-old has spent almost his entire career at top clubs in Europe. He made the move to Europe in 2001, joining Ajax of Holland, making over 100 appearances before leaving to join Internazionale of Italy in 2006. In three years with Inter, Maxwell made nearly 80 appearances for the Italian giants, and catching the eye of Barcelona, who he joined in 2009 for £4.5m. He went on to make over 50 appearances for the Catalan club, before departing for PSG earlier this summer.
Despite the fans singing the praises of Maxwell and his manager, many pundits are concerned that Sporting might have made the wrong decision in signing Maxwell. The fact that he managed to get himself transfer-listed within a few weeks of joining the Parisian club shows he has an attitude problem of some sort, which could cause damage to the harmony at Sporting in the squad. However, if Matthaus manages to control the attitude of Maxwell, it could turn into a very good piece of business for Sporting, having captured such a good player for the next season.
One of Matthaus' first signings after joining the Portuguese club was Xabi Castillo from Athletic Bilbao, who like Maxwell, is a left-back. It is well-accepted that Castillo was brought in to replace the sold Emiliano Insua, but now that Maxwell is in the picture, many believe that he will be the preferred choice of manager Matthaus in the battle of the left-backs, leaving Castillo wondering where he stands in the plans of his new German manager. In the worst-case scenario, Castillo will be forced to play second-fiddle to Maxwell this season, and wait until the Brazilian's loan contract ends and he returns to PSG. However, he will be hoping that his performances in training will be enough to convince Matthaus that he deserves a starting berth.
The fees that Sporting are paying to have acquired the services of Maxwell are unclear, but it's believed they are paying £170k p/m, and 10% of his £75k p/w deal at the Parc des Princes. In his time with Sporting, Maxwell will wear the number 2 shirt.