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A different beast to ex-Arsenal man lined up as replacement for Brazilian Tottenham target


Could Adriano be about to sign for Internacional?Will it mean Leandro Damiao leaves?

The apparent Tottenham Hotspur interest in Leandro Damiao has now become an almost mythical transfer rumour; such is the continual lack of progress in any actual deal with the his club Internacional Porto Alegre over a move.

The Brazilian striker says at one minute he wants to leave the club then the next he wants to stay. One minute Italy is his dream then the Premier League while his club do not help; with him up for sale and quickly labelled indispensable equally as quick in response.

With all of this going on, usually via the medium of his agent, it is good to try figure out other potential indicators over his future; such as the club signing prospective replacements.

So when it became almost apparent that Malaga forward and ex-Arsenal man Julio Baptista was being lined up as a potential replacement for the 23-year-old striker at the club the Damiao rumours reared up.

It seemed a perfectly reasonable rumour at the time but since then it has become progressively clear that Baptista is not likely to join the club this summer.

The Brazilian outfit are currently managed by international legend Dunga; and it seems he is set to delve into his past to give an opportunity to one of Brazil’s most mercurial talents of the past decade - Adriano.

When Adriano first burst on to the scene with Parma in 2002 he was a frightening talent. At 6ft 3ins tall and built like a body-builder his powerful bullet of a left-foot made him one of Europe’s most feared centre forwards throughout the middle part of the last decade.

But toward the end of his time at Inter Milan he began to struggle. He battled with alcoholism off the pitch and on the pitch it showed with his sluggish displays and ungainly physical appearance.

Spells on loan at Sao Paulo and a permanent spell with boyhood club Flamengo were as fractious as they were positive while his seven month spell at AS Roma was nothing short of a disaster in 2010-11.

After a year at Corinthians, which accommodated yet more apparent off field issues and a ruptured Achilles tendon, he spent last year at Flamengo keeping fit before seemingly disappearing from the footballing radar completely in 2013.

Now the beastly looking striker looks set to be an alternative to ‘The Beast’ for Dunga as a possible cover option for Damiao.

Dunga says his former international favourite ‘deserves a second chance’ but it appears he is ready to give him more of a third, fourth or fifth opportunity to put his personal torment behind him.

However it is only a six-month deal being proposed which may suggest that for now Damiao will be going nowhere.

Instead it would make sense if Dunga was to bring in Adriano and assess him for six months, alongside Damiao, before deciding whether the big striker can fulfil his wasted potential in Porto Alegre to a sufficient degree; which would see Damiao made available in January.

What is clear is this; any excitement at Adriano being an immediate replacement for Damiao must be tempered. Given his recent record that would be too much of a risk for Dunga to take with his team and his job.

What it does indicate is that Internacional are indeed searching for eventual replacements for Damiao for when they decide enough is enough and cash in on the centre forward. 

But right now Adriano is not ready to be his replacement … but he could be.

image: © Alex Carvalho

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