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S. Korean club express interest in Camilo

Bartolo agrees loan move to Qormi

Matthew Bartolo (left) hopes to rediscover his form with Qormi.

Matthew Bartolo (left) hopes to rediscover his form with Qormi.

Qormi have a fight on their hands to keep hold of Camilo as a club from South Korea have set their sights on the Brazilian.

The Premier League leaders have turned down an initial offer for their striker but sources have told The Times that Camilo's suitors have indicated their willingness to up their bid.

Camilo has proved an instant hit for Qormi after joining the club last summer. The nimble forward has scored an amazing total of 16 goals in just 10 matches to propel Qormi to the top of the Premier League, in the process earning a reputation as one of the best foreign players in Maltese football.

In light of his impact on Qormi, Camilo was expected to attract interest from foreign clubs in the January transfer window.

Contacted by The Times, Edoardo do Nascimento, Camilo's representative, confirmed that a South Korean club had made an official approach for the Qormi forward but their first offer has been rejected.

Do Nascimento, better known as Bizu, was keen to stress that Camilo is very happy at Qormi and is therefore in no rush to leave the club but it appears that the receipt of an improved offer from the South Korean club, which has not been identified, could tempt the two parties to do business.

Although Qormi are reluctant to part with Camilo, a lucrative bid may convince them to sell a player who could go for nothing when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The uncertainty about Camilo, who may need surgery to heal a nagging injury, is not deterring Qormi from pushing through other transfer deals. After completing the loan signing of Valletta midfielder Stefan Giglio on Tuesday, the Yellows yesterday agreed a similar deal for Sliema Wanderers winger Matthew Bartolo.

Bartolo was known to be keen on a loan move as his first-team opportunities at Sliema have been few and far between over the past 18 months.

"I'm looking forward to a positive spell with Qormi," Bartolo, 23, told The Times.

"I'm glad to be joining a club who can challenge for important targets this season."

The speedy winger was widely regarded as one of the brightest prospects of Maltese football during his time with Hibs and the national U-21 side but he has only shown glimpses of his talent since joining Sliema in 2008.

"Sliema have had some good patches in the past seasons but we struggled for consistency," Bartolo said.

"I think Sliema are still looking to find their best form but the new signings should boost the club's chances of achieving their objectives."

On a personal basis, Bartolo is confident of showing his true worth with Qormi.

"I needed a new challenge," Bartolo, who was also courted by Tarxien Rainbows, said.

"Qormi are buzzing at the moment and there's also great enthusiasm among their supporters. Being at a club where the coach and the people appreciate my qualities, I feel I have a greater chance of playing to my full potential."

Pereira to extend Spartans contract

Meanwhile, Marcelo Pereira has agreed a one-year extension to his contract with Ħamrun Spartans.

The Brazilian joined Ħamrun on a one-year deal last summer after his contract with Marsaxlokk expired at the end of the previous season.

At the time, Pereira and his new team-mates were preparing to take part in the Division One league after Ħamrun were relegated from the top flight at the end of 2008/09 but in September, the former Malta champions were reinstated to the top flight following the demotion of Marsaxlokk for match-fixing.

Pereira quickly established himself as a key player for the Spartans and is currently the team's leading scorer in the league with five goals.

His dynamic performances have prompted the Spartans committee, led by president Daniel Sullivan, to offer Pereira a one-year extension.

Both Sullivan and Bizu, Pereira's representative, told The Times yesterday that an agreement has been reached for the Brazilian striker to sign a new deal that will keep him with the Spartans until the end of season 2010/2011.

Sullivan also confirmed reports that his club are looking to sign Valletta striker Ian Zammit on loan until the end of the season.

Talks with player and club are at an advanced stage with the Spartans hopeful of concluding the deal in the coming days.

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