FC Shakhtar Donetsk have allowed Serbia and Montenegro midfielder Zvonimir Vukic to join Portsmouth FC, loaned Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa to HNK Hajduk Spilt and sent defender Cosmin Barcauan to FC Krylya Sovetov Samara.
In all seven Shakhtar players, including that trio, were transfer-listed due to a new limit on foreign players in Ukraine's top flight. The 26-year-old Vukic has moved to the English Premiership club for an undisclosed fee, two years after switching to Shakhtar from FK Partizan. Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric said: "We were looking for a middle man who chips in with goals."
Returning to the team he left for Shakhtar in 2003, Pletikosa, also 26, is hoping for more match practice ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. "Pletikosa has signed a new one-year deal with Shakhtar and has been loaned to Hajduk for this period," said Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu. "He has said goodbye to the squad and has gone back to Split."
UEFA Cup campaign
The 27-year-old Romanian international Barcauan arrived at Shakhtar from FC Dinamo Bucuresti in 2004, and now joins Krylya Sovetov, whose squad is depleted by injury. Having lost to FC Internazionale Milano in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, Shakhtar's UEFA Cup campaign begins on 15 September with the home leg of their first-round tie against Debreceni VSC of Hungary, when Krylya Sovetov play AZ Alkmaar.
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