(There is an open transfer thread, the post before this one, for comment on transfer news)
Borja Valero: AS is reporting an agent representing Borja Valero met with Atleti; of course their new coach Manzano knows Borja well from his time at Mallorca, so it's no surprise they are interested. But to me if Borja's release clause is €40 million, that's what we should demand for him--I don't understand the statement that he'll not be sold "for less than €20 million". Roig has already said he doesn't want to sell him, so demand every euro of that release price! (which perhaps is what they would do, who knows where the €20 mil figure came from). Similarly, €12 million for Diego López seems too close to being affordable to me, I would have thought more like €16 mil, but hey.
Rossi: Meanwhile, the Barcelona PR machine has hit first gear with the Rossi saga. It's pretty clear that Barca is unwilling to stump up €30 mil for Rossi. His agent has confirmed Barca have not approached Villarreal at all, and the more he talks the less concrete Barca's interest sounds (are we really back to "a lot of European teams are interested in Giuseppe, including some Italian ones?"). A week ago I was sure Barca wanted him and he would be gone, now I am not so sure.
But that hasn't stopped goal.com from picking up on a MundoDeportivo article claiming "the ball is in Villarreal's court!" and making it sound as though Rossi is being denied the chance of a lifetime by the Villarreal brass. By all accounts Rossi is just not this sort of guy--it doesn't ring true to me. Don Balon is saying "Roig won't budge a single euro" and that makes more sense to me.
Santi: Meanwhile, Liverpool has perhaps tabled a bid for Santi Cazorla, but Santi has already said he's happy where he is. This only gains traction if the Reds stump up his release price (€28 mill I think) and Santi decides to talk to them. It is true that the EPL teams have more money and can pay inflated salaries, but the FIFA Fair Play regulations are going to catch some of this.
Senna: Marca is now reporting he and Villarreal are likely to come to an agreement. Fener want too much for Baroni, I guess (though I'd still go after him or another defensive midfielder) and Senna doesn't sound excited about playing on a newly-promoted EPL team. it doesn't sound as if the money they offered was that much better. I think signing him for another season would be great, but we can't count on him to stay inury-free and be the Senna we all remember.
Now, let's move on to some non-transfer related news, shall we?
Congratulations to Wakaso Mubarak, selected to the Ghanaian national team for a pair of friendly matches against Nigeria.
And GolTV in Spain did a 45-minute program last night on Villarreal, with particular emphasis on the cantera, the Sports City complex, and so forth, called "The Dream Factory". It can be downloaded here, slowly perhaps, but it will work. If your Spanish is pretty good you will get a lot out of the interviews, even if you don't follow it all the clips and views of the Villarreal complex, especially the academy and behind-the-scenes stuff, is interesting.
Meanwhile, an excellent report on Udinese's Spanish connection and how it's working well for everyone concerned; Grenada and Elche meet to decide the final spot in La Liga next year.
Whoever wins that game, they'll be the only team promoted to La Liga this year that hasn't filed bankruptcy; there are 21 teams in Spain still operating under the bankruptcy code as we speak, and Racing may make it 22 before long.
The list includes Mallorca, who are suing ex-coach Manzano for the return of money they say he owes them, while he claimed in court his signature has been forged and in fact the club owes him money. You can't make this stuff up.
Of course, Spain doesn't penalize teams for going into administration the way England does. (If they did, Deportivo would still be in the Primera).
But Depor is going after Zaragoza, claiming they should be relegated since they never paid a transfer fee for a player they used (which is the same argument used against Mallorca that UEFA accepted in pitching them out of the Europa League, to our benefit).
And now the AFE and LFP are suggesting that teams that don't play their players (or transfer fees) should be relegated out of the professional ranks totally and made to play in the Segunda B. Not likely to succeed, but at least it is bring the problem to the fore and demanding action.
Hold the line, Sr. Roig!!