Feyenoord coach Jaap Stam hopes that his team will be fully focused on Thursday evening's game against Dinamo Tbilisi in the third preliminary round of the Europa League. In the run-up to the game, the transfer rumors in De Kuip are buzzing.
"A lot of things are going on and everyone is working on it, but we also have to be ready for Thursday's game," Stam said during a press conference in De Kuip on Wednesday.
Stam realizes that the uncertainty surrounding the selection can cause unrest. "Nothing can be planned in football, certainly not so shortly before the transfer deadline."
Earlier on Wednesday, Feyenoord announced that defender Jeremiah St. Juste "almost certainly" is leaving for FSV Mainz. He is therefore missing in Stam's selection of matches.
Feyenoord receives around 9 million euros for Jeremiah St. Juste. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Karsdorp, Johnston, Van Wolfswinkel and Ié possible acquisitions
The Rotterdam team is about to recruit Rick Karsdorp as a replacement. The right back was already spotted on Wednesday at De Kuip and will probably be rented from AS Roma for one year.
Karsdorp previously played for Feyenoord from 2014 to 2017 and left for Italy after the champion year. "It is not yet complete, we assume that Karsdorp cannot participate against Tbilisi," Stam said.
Stam also confirmed that Feyenoord hopes to take over George Johnston from Liverpool. The twenty-year-old central defender can sign a contract for several years in De Kuip.
In addition, according to various media, Feyenoord would be interested in FC Basel striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel and defender Edgar Miguel Ié from Trabzonspor.
See also: Feyenoord confirms St. Juste departure, Karsdorp close to return
Stam warns against underestimation of Tbilisi
Feyenoord can have Eric Botteghin again on Thursday. The defender had to be replaced with an injury on Sunday against Sparta (2-2). Striker Dylan Vente is not completely fit.
Stam warned his players about underestimating the leader of the Georgian league. "Tbilisi can play football very well. They have good players individually, are good at the ball and are physically strong."
"As a PSV player, I have already played against a team from Georgia and that was very difficult at the time," he refers to a meeting with Dinamo Batumi (3-0 win and 1-1 draw) in 1996.
Last season Feyenoord was painfully eliminated in the third heat of the Europa League by AS Trencín. The Slovaks won 4-0 at home and tied 1-1 in De Kuip.
Feyenoord-Dinamo Tbilisi starts on Thursday at 7.30 pm, the return is in Georgia next Thursday. The winner of the diptych plays in the play-offs against the Swedish Norrköping or the Israeli Hapoel Be'er Sheva for a spot in the Europa League group stage.