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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Unhappy Maniche Sets Sights on Spanish Move

Itar-TassManiche
A day after Dynamo Moscow announced a clear-out of a dozen players to be transfer-listed, the one player the club really does not want to leave announced, and not for the first time, that he wanted out of Russia's richest club.

Portugese international midfielder Maniche, the most expensive player in the history of the Russian Premier League -- and, judging by his words, also the unhappiest foreigner in the league -- was reported as saying Wednesday that he is eager to join Spanish Premier League outfit Atletico Madrid.

"I really like the idea of going to Atletico, but at the moment nothing has been agreed between Atletico and Dynamo," Maniche told Spanish sports daily AS on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

It is the second time that the 27-year-old Maniche, whom English papers have named as a possible replacement for Roy Keane at Manchester United, has made public his intention to leave Moscow.

Given his comments to the Spanish paper, though, Maniche is not keen on going to rainy Manchester either. He seems instead to have set his sights on Madrid.

"I would love to play at Atletico and in Spain, but we'll have to wait and see what happens. At the moment I'm still a Dynamo player," he said.

Despite his comments, Dynamo was adamant Wednesday that Maniche is not going anywhere.

"Maniche is a Dynamo player," said a club spokesman, saying the club had no desire to lose him. "Of course, he will try to negotiate, but so far he is player with Dynamo. He hasn't got the right to negotiate a contract with another club."

Maniche arrived from Porto for 16 million euros ($18.7 million) in May, joining whatever the collective noun for Portuguese footballers is that have made their home at Dynamo since billionaire Alexei Fedorychev took control of the club in 2004.

Dynamo, which expected to be at the very least in the scrap for Champions League places, never mounted a serious challenge and finished a distant eighth.

Maniche's unhappiness was evident on the pitch, as Dynamo failed despite the millions spent, as well as off it.

"I'm not OK, nor is my family," he told Portuguese media in September. "I don't like the country, I don't like the championship, and I don't like the weather."

Russian media like to tell the symbolic story of how once leaving the stadium, with a face like thunder, Maniche was stopped by children asking for his autograph. After signing autographs, he stormed onto the bus only for one small child to ask for another autograph. Maniche took off his Dynamo shirt and threw it to child.

The tearful kid, in return, moaned, "I didn't want this."

Dynamo's new coach, Yury Syomin, will hold talks with Maniche, the club spokesman said. It's likely he will have his work cut out.