January transfer window opens on Sunday

Clubs will once again have the opportunity to sign new players as the January transfer window opens on Sunday. The main focus is expected to be on foreign players with only a handful of local players expected to change clubs.

The first club to announce new signings was that of Floriana who secured the services of two strikers – Bulgarian Dragomir Draganov and Nigerian Daniel Nwoke.

Draganov, who has been playing in Sweden in recent years had already played in Malta for a number of clubs including Balzan Youths, Senglea Athletic and Marsaxlokk in the Premier League, Kercem Ajax and Zebbug Rovers in Gozo. Nwoke, on the other hand, returns to Malta from Finland after playing for Birkirkara, Naxxar Lions and Msida St. Joseph.

Goalkeeper Lofti Saidi, Pablo Doffo and Marcal Guerreiro Fernandez are sure to stay with the club while the future of Ivailo Sokolov and Kiril Dzhorov is in doubt Michael Mecerod will be released. Another player to move elsewhere should be Ryan Darmanin as the Greens are also hopeful of signing Etienne Barbara following a successful spell with Carolina RailHawks in the USA.

Sliema Wanderers could have up to two new foreigners in squad – Tunisian striker Chakib Lachkham and Brazilian midfielder Daniel Gibi. The Wanderers, who had released Valdo Goncalves Alhinho last month have goalkeepers Viktor Szentpeteri and Ini Etim Aktpan, Ivorian defender Sekou Tidiane Souare, Brazilian midfielder Jackson Lima Sequeira and Nigerian striker Obinna Obiefule. Alhinho since then joined Msida St. Joseph.

Beninese attacking midfielder Florent Raimy will be back to Malta to join Marsaxlokk after a short spell with Cypriot second division side Omonia Aradippou. Raimy played for the Southseasiders in Division 1 last season. The other foreigners on the books of Marsaxlokk are Bulgarian duo Rumen Galabov and Emil Yantchev, Alfred Effiong, Julio Alcorse and Ruben Gravata Guerreiro and Italian defender Luca Lodetti who joined the club last month.

Champions Birkirkara are expected to terminate the contract of Brazilian/Italian goalkeeper Ezequiel Lovizon who played only a few minutes in the first league game before an injury ruled him out. With the future of Scottish defender Ryan Harding also seeming to be in doubt, the Stripes could be signing a new foreign player.

Hibernians are also expected to sign a new foreign player in their bid to strengthen their squad as they aim at climbing out of the lower part of the table after releasing Portuguese midfielder Paulo Jorge Fernandez Sereno. He would join the other three foreigners – Matt Clarke, Richie Hart and Paul McManus. Out of their local players, Andrew Cohen could move elsewhere with at least two clubs seeming interested in securing his services.

Qormi could sign one among a number of players currently on trial with the club, namely Maltese-Australian Dean Zammit, Serbian striker Bojan Mamic and Ibraimi Vaz Sani. The other foreigners on the books of Qormi are Jason Lee Vandelannoite, Kang Hojung, Abubakar Bello-Osagie and Kosta Bjedov.

Valletta could also sign a new foreign player after Nigerian striker Joseph Okonkwo failed to break into the Citizens’ first team.