Nicolae Dică and Dorin Goian are ignoring transfer rumours as FC Steaua Bucureşti look to avoid the "shame" of ending their Group H campaign point-less.
Nicolae Dică and Dorin Goian are keen to ignore transfer rumours as FC Steaua Bucureşti attempt to avoid the "shame" of finishing their Group H campaign without a single point.
Czech contenders SK Slavia Praha travel to Bucharest on Tuesday aiming to repeat their 2-1 success against Steaua on Matchday 1 – and with the hosts unable to reach the last 16, talk in the Romanian capital has already turned to the destiny of their top players. Dică, in particular, has attracted attention with rumours of a move to Portugal for the 27-year-old striker.
Indeed, a Portuguese newspaper even quoted him as having agreed a switch to SL Benfica. Dică, Steaua's top scorer in last season's UEFA Champions League but still barren in Group H, said: "I don't know about any interview. I have not spoken to anybody, not in Romania or from any other country. I have four more years on my contract with Steaua and I am going to respect that."
'See what happens'
Steaua's likely stand-in captain against Slavia, in the absence of Mirel Radoi, continued: "We have four matches left in the league this year, plus a Romanian Cup tie and two UEFA Champions League games. We will see what happens in the winter break. If I leave, it will have to be a good deal for me, for Steaua and for the club that buys me." Dică's continued value to Steaua is reflected by his five Liga 1 goals during what has been a difficult domestic campaign.
UEFA Cup incentive
For the Romanian international, who also struck twice in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying action against Albania last week, the priority is the Slavia fixture. "We have to win," he said. "It would be a shame not to win any points in the Champions League this season." A victory would also give Steaua hope of overtaking Slavia, tenants of third place with four points, in the race for the UEFA Cup slot.
Defender Goian, 26, is also being tipped to leave Steaua, but like Dică, he prefers to concentrate on the task in hand. "As long as I am a Steaua player, I will do my duty and we'll see what happens afterwards," said the Romanian international. "We have to overcome the hurdle of having no points. If we win, we can hope to draw in London against Arsenal [FC] and so clinch a UEFA Cup place."