Feyenoord Enter Douglas Race

Feyenoord are poised to face off with Ajax in the hunt for Twente’s Douglas, but are set to lose Chun-Soo Lee for the whole close season due to an ankle injury.

Twenty-year-old Brazilian centre-back Douglas Franco Teixeira (pictured on the left) only played 16 times and scored once with The Reds since joining them from lowly outfit Joinville last September. But that was more than enough for him to attract the attention of several bigger clubs.  

The Johan Cruijff Schaal holders were the first ones to express an interest, but they are now in for a fight, as Feyenoord have joined the race for Douglas’ signature, according to AD Sportwereld Pro magazine. The 1.92-meters-tall Brazilian, who signed for the Enschede club after a trial, is under contract until mid-2010.  

Summer recovery

Even if Feyenoord manage to sign him, new coach Gertjan Verbeek may be forced to start next season without Lee. The South Korean international, who only played for eight minutes (!) since January 30, has undergone an ankle operation in his homeland and is expected to be out for three more months.  

The 26-year-old international winger joined the Beker holders just hours before last summer’s transfer window closed for two million euros, but found settling in in the Netherlands hard and only played in 14 games last season. He will probably resume training in August.  

Putting the pieces together

Meanwhile, Feyenoord are trying to complete their technical staff ahead of the 2008-’09 campaign, but that has proven more difficult than initially thought. Assistant coach Alex Pastoor, trainer Björn Rekelhof, even personal adviser Paul van Zwam will all follow Verbeek coming in from Heerenveen, while former Feyenoord custodian Joop Hiele is re-joining the club from Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven to take over as goalkeepers’ trainer. Hiele played in an impressive 381 competitive matches for Feyenoord from 1977 to ’90.  

Nonetheless, not all of Verbeek’s wishes have been easy to grant. Bert van Marwijk’s successor has asked the club board to hire Leon Vlemmings as his assistant, but he only signed a new, five-year deal with Breda last December and his club refuses to let go of him. Feyenoord’s efforts to agree a redemption fee with them have been fruitless and the former PSV Eindhoven youth coach has filed an arbitration request with the KNVB, as De Telegraaf daily reports.  

Panos Bletsos, Goal.com