FC Universitatea Craiova have brought in another new face, as well as bringing back to the club a more familiar one, as their winter recruitment drive continues.
Having already signed Bosnia-Herzegovnian goalkeeper Adnan Guso on a free transfer from FK Sarajevo last week, the Craiova club have now recruited Congolese striker Tresor Ewango and midfield player Catalin Craciunescu as they strengthen ahead of the second part of the season.
They may not be the last players to arrive either after Universitatea - eleventh in Romania's 16-team top flight - revealed an interest in former England midfield player Paul Gascoigne, who has been without a club since last summer.
First player from Congo
Ewango, who is just 18, becomes the first Congolese player in the Romanian league, while Craciunescu returns to the Ion Oblemenco stadium after an unhappy six-month spell at FC Dinamo Bucaresti. Ewango has signed a five-year contract with the Divizia A club, worth an initial €18,600 a year, a sum which will rise by €4,700 with each season. He joins after a three-game trial.
The 25-year-old Craciunescu, meanwhile, admitted it was "good to be back" after a frustrating spell in Bucharest where he did not make a single appearance for Dinamo. "It was my worst decision to go to Dinamo," said Craciunescu, who has signed a two-and-a-half year contract. "I didn't get the chance to prove myself.
It's good to be back home and if I leave Universitatea again, it would only be to go abroad."
With those two deals concluded, Universitatea's main shareholder, Dinel Staicu, revealed today his interest in Gascoigne, although he does not believe the €140,000 Universitatea can offer will be enough to tempt the 35-year-old to Romania.
"It would be sensational to have him here, even if we know that he is very expensive and €140,000 wouldn't be enough," he said. "I would be satisfied if he could play for 25 or 35 minutes of each game because for sure we would have a sold-out stadium and the investment would bring us a good profit very quickly."
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