Valletta hand deal to Romulo, Conde leaves Published on: 23-07-2013
Valletta have finalised the signing of striker Romulo Marques Antoneli.
Romulo has put pen to paper on a one-year deal with Valletta retaining the option to extend his contract for another 12 months at the end of the season.
The Brazilian began training with Valletta early last week but coach Mark Miller decided not to rush him into action as the Citizens played the home leg of their Europa League second qualifying round match against FC Minsk only a few days after Romulo’s arrival.
Romulo was included in Valletta’s squad that will fly out to Belarus today ahead of Thursday’s second leg with the tie finely-poised after a 1-1 draw at the National Stadium last week.
Miller has made the acquisition of a powerful striker his top priority this summer after Valletta parted company with Malta captain Michael Mifsud at the end of last season.
The Citizens are confident that the 31-year-old Romulo has the technical ability and experience to deliver the goods in front of goal after the team appeared to lack firepower in pre-season matches, including their home ties against San Marino’s La Fiorita and FC Minsk.
Romulo showed a lot of promise when he played for Botafogo at the start of his career but failed to establish himself at any of the clubs he’s been with, including loan spells with Gremio, German side Mainz, Beitar Jerusalem in Israel, French club Strasbourg and Coritiba.
Before coming to Malta, Romulo was on the books of lower-league Brazilian club Audax Rio.
While Romulo looks to have impressed Miller sufficiently to be handed a contract, not so can be said of Arnal Conde.
The Spanish forward failed to bolster his claim for a permanent deal during the 1-1 draw with FC Minsk as he looked short of match fitness. He was replaced by Nigerian James Aud-Gustine Obaje early in the second half.
Conde, 32, has since been informed that his services are no longer required but Obaje is expected to stay.
The Nigerian has already signed a short-term contract and will make the trip to Belarus with the rest of the Valletta squad.
Source - Times of Malta