Kadeřábek, Pavlenka, Koubek:

Praise and new contracts.

Kolář: The time for big transfers will come.

Viktor Kolář and his colleagues from Sport Invest’s football department have had a busy summer. In the last transfer window, three of his clients have caused quite a stir: the names Pavel Kadeřábek, Jiří Pavlenka and Tomáš Koubek have often been mentioned on the European football scene. However, all three decided to stay at their current clubs, with Kadeřábek and Pavlenka signing new long-term contracts. “We’re sticking to the plan with these guys. Staying at their current clubs is definitely the best way forward for them,” Kolář says.

The transfer of Hoffenheim defender Kadeřábek, who has during his time in Germany become one of the best right backs in Europe, was the most discussed. And the interested parties were no unknowns: Kolář was dealing with prominent clubs from Italy and England. Nevertheless, the transfer didn’t go through because Kadeřábek’s priority had been to stay in Hoffenheim, where he had prolonged his contract the year prior and now he signed a new, significantly improved one. The Czech defender who also plays for the national team will stay with this year’s Champions League participant until the summer of 2023.

“Pavel has become one of the best paid players in the Hoffenheim squad. We received many offers during the summer, from major European clubs, but we also knew Hoffenheim were keen to keep him, since he’s one of the key players on the team. With the new contract the club shows how much they appreciate Pavel’s character, his work ethic and his personality,” Kolář said. “He had prolonged his contract just one year ago and signing a new one now goes to show that his position in the squad is strong. In the past months he’s improved on his performance from previous seasons, so there has been a lot of interest. We talked about all the possibilities, but Pavel was clear on the fact that he would prefer to stay at the club. His family is happy in Sinsheim, Pavel is happy in the club and now there’s the added value of playing in the Champions League. It’s a rare situation in which both the club and the player are tremendously happy.”

The 26-year-old player shares this view. „My heart was telling me to stay in Hoffenheim. When we started talking about prolonging the contract, staying here was my priority. Of course it’s exciting when such great clubs are interested in you. I knew about all the offers my agent Viktor Kolář received, I was always clued in. But me and my family like it here very much, we’re happy in Hoffenheim. This season, we’ll be playing in the Champions League and the club has great ambitions for the upcoming years. Everything is very professional here and by prolonging my contract the club has shown me that they see my worth and are counting on me for the future. Everything is working the way it’s supposed to,” Kadeřábek added.

The same can be said for Jiří Pavlenka, the goalkeeper who has mesmerised the Bundesliga with his performances. Within one year he became the first-choice goalkeeper for Werder Bremen and a fan favourite. His skills were one of the key factors that helped to save the traditional German club from relegation when they had a problematic autumn followed by a great spring. Pavlenka was also rewarded with a new contract.

“Jirka has shown everyone in the Bundesliga what he’s worth, within one year he has become one of the best goalkeepers of Germany’s top league. Experts rank him among the top 3 goalkeepers of the Bundesliga, and he won the fans’ vote on the most valuable player of the club by a wide margin. It just shows his transfer from Slavia Prague was a good move. Several clubs expressed interest in him over the summer, but the priority for us and for the player was getting a new contract at Werder Bremen. Jirka wants to cement the position he built for himself during the first season at Werder and he’s going to have the best possible conditions at the club. The club really wanted him to stay and the particulars of the new contract confirm that,” explained Kolář, who had been working on the new contract for the Czech national team’s goalkeeper well in advance.

“My agent Viktor Kolář met with the club representatives in winter and they discussed all the options. They agreed that if I continue to play well and help the team save the season, they will offer me a new contract. I’m glad it went well and I can start the new season with a clear head,” the 26-year-old says. “A year ago, I’d never have expected that I would be signing a new contract in Bundesliga after just one season. And I’m really happy about it too. It’s a great thing to see your name mentioned in the press in connection with Barcelona or Liverpool. Those are great clubs and any player would be honoured to play for them. But after the season ended, I said I would be happy to stay here in Bremen and prove that I can continue what I started last year in the next season too,” concluded Pavlenka.

Another Czech national team player, goalkeeper Tomáš Koubek, also made a great move last year when he transferred from Sparta Prague to the French club Rennes. Another famous Sport Invest client, goalkeeper Petr Čech, was the one who recommended him to Rennes, the first foreign club he went to play with after leaving the Czech league. Koubek quickly became one of the top keepers of the Ligue 1 and several French and English clubs showed interest in him.

“During his first season in France Tomáš showed he has matured for the big European stage. He became number one goalkeeper in Rennes and his performance helped the club – whose season hadn’t started exactly well prior to his arrival – to reach the European cups. He’s a very intelligent player, but the club also appreciates his professionalism, his quick grasp of the French language and his behaviour off the pitch. It’s clear his move to Rennes was a good decision,” confirmed Kolář, who used to be a goalkeeper himself and has been with Petr Čech since the beginning of the Arsenal keeper’s career.

His background allows him to use his considerable experience and detailed knowledge of the goalkeeping post and specific demands of the clubs to help other goalkeepers. “Tomáš Koubek follows in Petr Čech’s footsteps and I am positive he can continue on a similar path when it comes to his future. We had several clubs expressing interest in him this summer, but we unanimously agreed that the best way forward is for him to continue in Rennes. Tomáš wants to prove himself, strengthen his position, help his team in the Ligue 1 as well as in the European League. The time for a big transfer will come, there’s no hurry. And the same can be said for Pavel Kadeřábek and Jirka Pavlenka,” Kolář concluded.