Villarreal news, February 1; Happy Birthday, Beppe!!

Happy Birthday, Beppe!! (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Before anything else, HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY to GIUSEPPE ROSSI!! As Arch Bell tweeted, now you can rent a car in the United States!! (not sure if I can think of anything else you need to be 25 for, but there's probably something). We wish him a happy day, hope there lots of M&Ms and Reese's Pieces onhis cake, and that he'll be back playing for us sooner than we expect.....

Okay, so let's tie up a few loose ends from yesterday: We do indeed have a purchase option for Alejandro Martinuccio, it's €4m. There was a report on twitter he was at practice today (wow, when did he arrive?) and was given number 23.

Nilmar's agent (our friend Sr. de Hora) is frustrated with Sao Paolo, and Sao Paolo is frustrated with him. The sticking point in negotiations is apparently salary (you'll recall Sr. de Hora was quoted as saying on the weekend that the two sides had a greed on this). The gist is Nilmar wants to be paid what he is being paid here, and the Brazilian club wants to pay him about 20% less. (no idea if this is before or after tax). According to this article, Sao Paolo does not want the negotiations to drag on, and has set a deadline of "next Friday" (I assume they mean the 3rd). We shall see.

The B team: Dorian Dervite has indeed been released from his contract. He apparently was not offered a contract by Auxerre, the French team that he tried out for. Anyway, he's now a free agent. Angel Ortega has signed with Eibar. They're in the same Segunda B group as Ponferradina, so he will get to see Fofo Enriquez, and they both will have matches against Mirandés, who lost 2-1 at home yesterday to Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of the Copa del Rey.

As El Pais pointed out, this was a quiet January window in Spain, with the focus being on cheap deals and/or loans. Sign of the times. Looking at other clubs near us in the standings (sigh), Racing picked up Marcos Gullón from us and little else, Sporting Gijon got Adrian Colunga on loan from Getafe, and Granada picked up young Brazilian Henrique from Sao Paolo on loan with a purchase option.

A couple of deals that didn't happen: Dani Parejo was set to leave Valencia for Mallorca, but the islanders couldn't come up with the money (however much it was). There was talk of a late move from Bayer Leverkusen, but nothing happened. Mallorca did send Aki on a yearlong loan to some team in South Korea, and they might well forget to ask for him back--he was mostly terrible and Caparros clearly has no interest in him.

Joan Capdevila was rumored to be leaving Benfica for Espanyol late on, but nothing happened. Clubs seemed to be more willing to let players simmer angrily on the bench than move them--that was certainly the case with Giovanni Dos Santos in Tottenham, unfortunately for us.

And finally, there have been a couple of stories on the mainstream business site bloomberg.com. One concerned the formation of shell companies to purchase players in the UK to hide ownership, amid concerns this could also be hiding such things as money-laundering; now UEFA is weighing in with its concerns on third-party ownership via investment funds. The article mentions the Zaragoza signing of Roberto, one of the more egregious examples of such practices.

Happy February, everyone, and Endavant Villarreal!!

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