Here's the official La Liga ball for 2011-12!
Bon dia groguets! It's July 10th and the Villarreal first team meets at the Sports City today to begin training before heading to Ireland, where the team will be from July 14-19. Everyone is expected except for the international players, who report July 13.
All appears to be quiet on the transfer front except for Juventus's pursuit of Rossi. EPM suggests that Juve could end up offering €30m, or perhaps €25m plus Felipe Melo if goal.com is to be believed. One report has Juventus already having made contact with Villarreal but this is doubtful. Juventus also admit they are "tracking" Alexis Sanchez and Gonzalo Higuain, and note they are considering "other players" as well. I must admit the tone of the EPM report is surprising to me given Sr. Roig's unwillingness to part with players once training camp opens.
Until (a) Sr. Roig states he's willing to sell Rossi at this point in the summer for the same €30m he was happy to earlier; (b) Rossi himself says he wants to go to Juventus; (c) his agent reaches agreement with Juve on personal terms, and (d) Juventus comes up with €30m cash, a deal is unlikely. So far none of those things have happened and as Rossi's agent himself admitted, the only certainty at the moment is that Rossi has a five-year contract with Villarreal.
In the unlikely event that Rossi does move in the next couple of days, Colombian striker Rodallega would be one target, apparently. Remember though that rumors this summer had him practically signed, sealed and delivered to Villarreal, so a degree of skepticism is certainly in order. He's currently playing with Zapata in the Copa America.
Speaking of the Copa, it's been a disappointing competition so far in many ways but is starting to heat up a bit. Competitions like this can help a player's stock (who knew of Costa Rica's Campbell, for instance) but this can work both ways. Neymar's poor performance yesterday against Paraguay is a case in point. And Edinson Cavani, our Napoli friend, suffered an injury in Uruguay's last match that is not believed to be serious, thankfully.
As for the hosts Argentina, their efforts so far are reminiscent of some of Villarreal's worst under Ernesto Valverde. The players they have look uncomfortable in the "Barca-style" 4-3-3 system they are trying to play. If you haven't seen Argentina's version of it, imagine Barcelona playing at half-speed, with the three front men rarely working together, and you have a reasonable approximation of their efforts against Colombia. Oh, and instead of Xavi you have Ever Banega. If not for Javier Mascherano and keeper Romero, and some hilariously bad finishing from the Colombians, not to mention a cast-iron penalty and red card being missed, the hosts would be in even worse shape.
As for Villarreal players present (and not present) at the Copa, Hernán Perez hasn't played yet for Paraguay, nor has Zapata for Colombia. In the interest of full disclosure I have to confess that the man who beat out Nilmar, Fred, surprised everyone by scoring a fine goal yesterday to earn Brazil a draw against Paraguay. Not that it excuses leaving Nilmar at home--it doesn't. And how Argentina coach Batista selected Milito instead of Musacchio is beyond me. Miiito was the worst player on the pitch last time out, and that took some doing! But at least Musacchio arrives at Vila-real well rested, as will Nilmar!