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VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Friday the club has loaned midfielder Janio Bikel to Italian Serie B side LR Vicenza through June 30, 2022, with an option to purchase.

“This is a move that made sense for both Janio and the club,” said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC sporting director. “Janio is a very good player and Vicenza will be a good fit for him. At the same time, this move provides additional opportunity for our current players and extra roster flexibility.”

Bikel, 26, started 39 of his 46 appearances across all competitions for the club in 2020 and 2021, recording one goal as well as one assist. The native of Bissau, Guinea-Bissau was acquired by Vancouver via transfer in February 2020 from Bulgaria’s First Professional Football League club CSKA Sofia.

Founded in 1902, LR Vicenza currently sit 20th in Serie B and are based out of the city of Vicenza, Italy.

With the loan, Whitecaps FC have five central midfielders on their first team roster in Caio Alexandre, Michael Baldisimo, Leonard Owusu, Russell Teibert and Pedro Vite.

Bikel is the fourth Whitecaps FC player on loan, joining Simon Colyn (Jong PSV – Netherlands), Derek Cornelius (Panetolikos FC – Greece) and Damiano Pecile (Venezia FC – Italy) at European sides.

TRANSACTION: On January 21, 2022, Whitecaps FC loan midfielder Janio Bikel to LR Vicenza through June 30, 2022, with an option to purchase.