Things have been relatively quiet at Villarreal as of late, at least in terms of anything actually happening that was not expected. As touched on below, Jozy Altidore and Joan Capdevila have moved on, having not been in Juan Carlos Garrido's plans for the upcoming season, and they will be missed, both in the locker room and by their friends.
Goal.com has a shockingly brazen story about Juventus' starting 11 for next year, which includes our own Giuseppe Rossi as one of two "centre forwards" alongside Matri. I mean, come on. It is one thing to post rumors about whether or not his agent thinks this is a "decisive week" for Rossi's future, but to actually put him in the starting lineup? Two days after Rossi scores in Villarreal's preseason victory over Aberdeen? A day after a respectable source quotes Rossi as preparing for the next year with Villarreal and having no plans to leave, and Rossi himself tweets about how much he likes the story? The same time that Rossi is spending the afternoon on the beach in Benicàssim? (h/t to Bill Lumbergh for all of that, gracias). Possibly one of the most ridiculous stories goal.com has ever posted. And that is saying something.
Rossi's agent is allegedly in Vila-real to "finalize talks" with Villarreal for a transfer to Juve, but Football Italia, the source for that rumor, has been cranking out material to rival the intrepid reporters at goal.com as of late, and I am not set to believe anything on that front until I hear it from Rossi himself or the club.
As for the Santi Cazorla rumors, Málaga's sporting director has said that the "template is closed." While Santi has again denied reports linking him to Málaga (reports journalism jackknife goal.com - sorry, can't help it), EPM reports that Málaga is putting together one last offensive to sign him. I have to say, I doubt the club would have taken him to China for the XTEP promotion (see glorious picture) if they were not confident he would be staying in yellow for next year, but we will see.
Those waiting on news of new signing Cristian Zapata will be happy to hear that Zapata will be joining the club on July 25, as Garrido wants him to become comfortable in the side prior to the Champions League playoff.
American striker Jozy Altidore has signed a four-year deal with AZ Alkmaar. After a couple of years in which he has never felt comfortably, whether with Villarreal, Xerez, Hull City, or Bursaspor, he will finally have a "home." Jozy said today, "This is an exciting time. I have found a home having been loaned to several clubs in Europe. I hope for a fair chance and want to make the next step in my career with AZ." Villarreal earned 1.5m euros in the deal, a significant loss from the 10m euros they paid for Altidore when they got him from Major League Soccer. Jozy was at Alkmaar's most recent friendly, and is expected to begin training with the club immediately. Alkmaar takes on KS Flamurtari or FK Jablonec in the Third Qualifying Round of the Europa League next, with the first leg on July 28. I do not know of his registration status for that competition, but hopefully he will not have any issues there. We here at Villarreal USA wish him the best, both as fans of the USMNT and fans of Jozy.
Joan Capdevila has finally made his move out of Villarreal, it appears. His agent has said that he has signed a two-year deal with the Portuguese side. It is a free transfer, with Villarreal letting him go presumably out of respect for his years of service and status in Spain. Benfica has to pass through two qualifying rounds if they are to make the Group Stage of the Champions League. They could find themselves in the Playoffs if they pass through the Third Qualifying Round, but because of their UEFA coefficient, Villarreal are not a potential opponent in the playoff round. That being said, I hope we do not have to come up against Capdevila and his men in the Group Stage, if we all make it that far.
Capdevila's transfer leaves the leftback position a bit thin for Villarreal, possibly the last position needing to be filled if the Rossi and Santi Cazorla rumors turn out to be nothing more. El Periodico Mediterraneo continues to suggest that Villarreal are tracking Sporting Gijón's Roberto Canella, but with Jose Angel heading off to Italy, that sounds unlikely. If no one arrives, Villarreal will have José Manuel Catalá starting with Joan Oriol, who everyone expected to be heading out this summer, as the backup.