Friday, January 04, 2008

Transfer season opens

With many European leagues on winter break, and the transfer deadlines having been lifted, there are likely to be several Canadian players on the move in the next few weeks.

In fact, one player already has booked a move East. Lars Hirschfeld has signed a deal that will see him transfer from Norwegian side Rosenborg to Romanian (!) table-toppers, CFR Cluj (be sure to turn down your speakers if you are at work.

Here's some confirmation, though it's in Norwegian:
Hirschfeld signerte for Cluj

Lars Hirschfeld forlater Rosenborg til fordel for rumenske CFR Cluj. Fredag signerte den canadiske landslagskeeperen fireårskontrakt med rumenerne.

Publisert i dag 17:57

29-åringen står med 21 landskamper. Hirschfeld blir presentert på en pressekonferanse mandag. Da RBK i romjulen hentet Rune Almenning Jarstein fra Odd Grenland, var det klart at Hirschfelds framtid som førstekeeper på Lerkendal var over.

Nå venter et eventyr i rumensk fotball. Cluj har tidligere hentet Mikael Dorsin fra nettopp Rosenborg.

My translation (I don't know Norwegian, but these contract articles are pretty simple if you know a bit of Dutch or German):
Lars Hirschfeld is leaving Rosenborg for Romanian side CFR Cluj. The Canadian national team keeper signed a 4-year contract with the Romanians.

The 29-year old has 21 national team caps. Hirschfeld will be presented at a press conference on Monday. RBK had already signed Rune Almenning Jarstein from Odd Grenland, which made clear that Hirschfeld's days as first choice at Lerkendal were over.

Now awaits an adventure in Romanian football (thank you, commenter, for helping me with this part). Cluj has already signed Mikael Dorsin from Rosenborg.
We're not sure how we would feel about living in Romania, though living near the Arctic Circle in a city of 160,000 doesn't really appeal to us either.

At least Cluj (really Cluj-Napoca) seems like a nice place:
Heck, it's even home of former NBA giant Gheorghe Muresan, the tallest to ever play in the NBA, and Billy Crystal's co-star in My Giant:
Lars' new neighbour?

CFR Cluj (not to be confused with bottom-dwellers CFM Universitaea Cluj) currently sit atop the table, a position which would qualify the team directly to the group stages of Champions League next season if they can hold it. Rosenborg, on the other had, will not participate in European competitions this fall.

It seems a good move for Lars, and the money is surely good (CFR is an ambitious and wealthy team), and the Champions League matches will make up for the fact he didn't move to an even better league, and that he, um, well, has to live in Romania.

Update 2008.01.05: Perhaps we spoke to soon. Lars speaks, and apparently he's none too pleased that the media has him signing with Cluj when he doesn't believe that to be the case (Norwegian).

Update 2008.01.06: Now it is official. The transfer amount was 1.2 million euros, and he'll be earning 280,000 euros a year, which will go a long way in Romania's low tax, low cost of living economy.

We may see other players on the move. Paul Stalteri could certainly use a change of scenery (he must grow tired of watching games from the stands) and there are rumours of Dwayne de Rosario to Celtic.

One player who won't be moving is Michael Klukowski, who has signed a 3-year deal with his side Club Brugge. After a poor season last year, Brugge are back atop the Belgian league, so he'll have a good shot at European competition next season.


Odd said...

Your translation from norwegian is very good! :)
The part you didn't understand, says; "Now awaits an adventure in Romanian football"

J said...

Thanks for the help.

Now it seems like the transfer isn't a done deal yet (see update), so we'll have to wait and see.

Sam said...

Cheers from World Cup Blog!

Good insight. I can hardly see how this could turn around though, it seems he's there for good.

J said...

Sam, it seems you were right, as the move was made official today (see edited post).