«During the summer window Hughes first attempted to bring Ricardo Carvalho back to the Premier League, from Real Madrid, then persuade Michael Dawson to move across London from Tottenham Hotspur. Both declined the invite, and thus ensued a tortuous attempt to sign the Portugal international Rolando.
Here was a robust but technical able defender in his mid-20s who had just gone to the European Championship. He had been a first choice for Porto throughout his four seasons there, winning trophy after trophy. And Porto were willing to let him leave for a surprisingly reasonable €2millon (Dh9.4m) loan fee with a €10m option to buy. Problem solved? Not quite.
An intelligent and strong-minded individual, Rolando was not keen on joining a small club that only just avoided relegation to the Championship. He did not appreciate the pressure exerted by Porto technical director Antero Henrique to leave for QPR, nor the threats from coach Vitor Pereira that he should not expect to be a starter if he refused to leave the club. Nor did he appreciate the calls informing him that Mohamed Afzal, a Portuguese-based agent registered in the tiny African state of Guinea-Bissau, and Kia Joorabchian, Hughes's controversial representative, wanted him to meet the QPR manager to discuss a move.
Though both clubs pursued the transfer until deadline day, Rolando dug in his heels and stayed put. “I didn't go to QPR for two reasons”, Rolando explains. “First, I don't go anywhere on loan. If I leave Porto I want to leave for good because it is difficult for a player who has been a first choice for four years and is a Portugal international to come back to a club after that club has sent him away on loan. Second, with all respect to QPR I didn't consider them to be a team for my level”. “What I find hard to understand is why Porto rejected an offer of €8m from Roma at the beginning of August and then told me to move to QPR for a €2m loan fee and an option of €10m. This I find hard to explain.”
Hard to explain, easier to see the results. Paying for his strength of mind, Rolando has been exiled to Porto's reserves. Paying for his adviser's presumption, Hughes is unemployed.»
Evidentemente, esta é a versão do Rolando ou, provavelmente, do empresário do Rolando (que nas últimas semanas tem andado muito falador...).
Estranho é o facto de estas declarações surgirem num jornal inglês (The National). Se o Rolando, ou o seu empresário, têm queixas da FC Porto SAD e entenderam ser a altura para vir para a praça pública partir a loiça, acharia mais normal que o fizessem através dos canais habituais para esse fim: A BOLA, Record, ou o programa ‘Bola Branca’ (RR).
Aliás, gostava de perceber como é que esta entrevista é dada ao jornalista Duncan Castles (ex-Sunday Times). Ou seja, quem estabeleceu a ligação entre o Duncan Castles e o Rolando (ou o seu empresário)?
Falta saber qual é a versão da SAD portista e, principalmente, do Antero Henrique e do Vítor Pereira, que são diretamente visados nesta entrevista.