Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce has recently been reported to be giving trials to Brazilian defender Ze Maria.
The former Lazio and Inter Milan player, who can play right-back or right wing, is now a free agent and Italian sources have said he was flying to England for trials with Newcastle. But today reports suggest Sheffield United are taking the Brazil international on a week’s trial.
So what’s going on? Probably not much but we’ll take a look at who Ze Maria is, and what we think is happening.
Brazilian Ze Maria – free agent having trials at Newcastle?
Ze Maria has been a free agent since leaving Levante in the summer. Parma are said to be interested, but the player himself seems to prefer a move to Lazio. Ze Maria recently completed a one year spell with Levante and is now looking for new opportunities.
Jose Ze Maria is said to be deciding on a new club this week – and news is that he hopes it will be Lazio, who are supposedly tracking the Brazilian 1996 Olympic Bronze Medal winner. Ze Maria just turned 34 years old in July, so if Newcastle are interested it would probably be for only a couple of seasons. We’d prefer we went after younger players although being a free agent, the Brazilian can be signed at any time, and of course would cost nothing in transfer fees.
Ze Maria talked recently of the Lazio link:
“I read the speculation in the newspapers, and that made me smile,” “But that’s just paper talk – it’s not an actual move. Nobody from Lazio has yet been in touch with me.”
“I want to sign for a new club and start training again before next week. Iâ€™ve had lots of offers from various countries, but we must wait and see,”
Some information on Ze Maria:
Ze Maria, full name Jose Marcelo Ferreira, was born in Oeiras, Brazil. He signed with Portuguesa in 1996, before switching to Flamengo a year later. After a successful season there, he moved to Italy with Parma, where he enjoyed a good spell. He has also played for Palmeiras, Vasco da Gama and Cruzeiro. In the summer of 1999 he moved to Perugia, before transferring to Inter Milan in 2003. He was released on a free transfer by the Milan club in the summer of 2006. In August of that year he signed for Levante and this summer became a free agent.
Ze Maria is 5’9″ tall and has played a total of 434 first class games scoring 34 goals. In addition to this he played 43 times for Brazil from 1996 to 2001 and scored 2 goals.
Not sure if it’s even worth considering Ze Maria for Newcastle – we think we need a few younger players as our next acquisitions for the squad.