Villarreal and Valencia--dueling it out in the transfer market as well as on the field. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
With only five days before Villarreal starts training for the upcoming season, the Villarreal squad is full of quality but is small--only 16 outfield players under contract at the moment. With other clubs nosing round our stars, and Villarreal looking to add depth to this squad,the next few days should be filled with activity. Here's a recap of where things stand at the moment.
Current Villarreal players:
Let's start with Marcos Senna, who is technically out of contract now. Villarreal made him a revised offer last week, apparently at the same base salary as they offered before but with various incentive clauses (let me see, who suggested that idea a while back?). Since players report to Vila-real for training on Sunday, he needs to make a decision soon.
Jozy Altidore may soon be on his way to AZ Alkmaar, now that the Dutch club have sold their leading goalscorer from last year to Ajax Amsterdam. Whether it is a loan deal or a sale I don't know--I suspect a loan--but I like the move form Jozy's standpoint. The Eredivisie's style of play should suit him, and he'll get Europa League football as well with AZ.
Giuseppe Rossi: Marca's headline is "Rossi's agent admits contacts with Juventus!" Of course it's never been hard to get Mr. Pastorello to "admit" anything. Juventus may put an offer together in the next few days, they may not. They may put an offer together later--they may not. We'll see. With Sr. Roig having already said prices for our "cracks" may rise as the summer continues, I think if they are serious we'll know soon.
Santi Cazorla: Exactly what Málaga has offered to whom when is not clear. A local Malaga paper reported last week that Santi's agent had responded to their initial offer with a counteroffer at an even higher salary. Since then little has happened but Malaga seems to have turned its attention to Javier Pastore, and the media is reporting the Sheikh wants to sign one marquee player--formerly "Cazorla", now "Cazorla or Pastore", apparently. Or maybe...
Borja Valero. Yet again nothing seems to actually be happening, but he is another player Málaga would like to land. Since Olympique Marseille is willing to part with Lucho González at a loss (having turned down a desultory €6million from Málaga already) it would certainly be easier for Málaga to work a deal for Lucho than for Borja.
Juan Carlos: (the goalkeeper, not the monarch). Real Zaragoza seems to be interested, and with their financial problems he could be a cheap everyday keeper on a loan deal.
Potential Villarreal players:
Valencia and Villarreal have to be looking at the boquerones, counting the realistically available Champions League places, and figuring they might be battling it out again this year. They already are, apparently, with both teams interested in Sergio Canales as well as Pablo Piatti, Almeria's fine Argentine player. They already turned down €8m from Málaga (who else?) and want €10m for him. Villarreal is apparently interested, though in the absence of a big transfer out would it happen?
In addition to Villarreal's potential interest in the aforementioned Lucho Gonzalez (again, probably not unless a star midfielder leaves) Mundo Deportivo mentions we are chasing Ángel Lafita from Zaragoza, which is news to me.
Villarreal is also linked with a young French left back, Chris Mavinga, who would probably go to the B team. He's a young player who Liverpool loaned to Racing Genk in Belgium--he seemed to be a player Rafa beitez liked but once he left Mavinga got ignored. He's been a youth international would be a good pickup I think. We've also made an offer to Celta Vigo for 20-year old "Jota" Ignacio Peleteiro, an attacking midfielder.
As for the Denilson story, nothing new since the original AS report. Except that the Sun reports "Spanish giants Villarreal" are set to buy him. I can't bring myself to link to that paper, and the article says nothing new.
Have I left anyone out? Whew!