Carlos Marchena is an interesting guy. On the pitch you love him if he's on your side, you hate him if he's not. Between his trademark smirk and his knack for being in the middle of things when it gets testy, you might be tempted to classify him mentally as a thuggish sort of fellow.
And if so, you would be very wrong. Carlos is actually an intelligent, thoughtful guy, enjoys cooking (well, I have to give him a big thumbs up for that!), much given to painting apparently as a pastime. And now comes news he's been appointed a UN Ambassador in the fight against desertification. Congratulations, Sr. Marchena!
The other non-transfer news of interest concerns Villarreal's preseason plans, which have now been fleshed out a bit. The team will meet on July 10 in Vila-real, spend from July 14-20 in Ireland (I assume the same place as before) then travel to China from July 22-28. They have committed to play a match August 5 against Everton in England, then will return home to Villarreal.
As reported yesterday Wakaso Mubarak has been selected to the Ghana squad for two friendlies, but EPM's headline has him included in the side for the All-African Games in September. If that's correct, he'll miss a couple of weeks of the season.
OK, now it's time for transfer updates. No news means no news.
Rossi: The Spanish press reported yesterday Rossi had said (or his agent said for him) it was "his dream" to play for Barca, but today agent Pastorello said today "it is the dream of all footballers to wear the Barca shirt". He did say (which was a question I was wondering) he didn't know when the Villarreal video for the season ticket campaign was filmed, so couldn't say if Rossi was not included because it was expected he would leave, or whether he was in Italy at the time. Meanwhile, EPM says the price is €30 million or nothing.
Borja Valero: Manzano likes him, Atleti might (or might not) have inquired about buying him, and Villarreal might (or might not) have said the price would be at least €20 million. This article suggests Arteta could be had from Everton for only €10 million; between that, Sr. Roig's strong statement at the Gala, and Borja's satisfaction in Villarreal, I am hopeful nothing will come of this rumor.
Jefferson Montero: in Ecuador ahead of the Copa America, latest is he might be loaned to Real Sociedad. In this interview Montero sounds happy about that but far too honest. "I don't know anything" ...what is the rumor mill to do with that?
And finally, returning to non-transfer news, here's an interview with ex-Villarreal B entrenador Javi Gracia, now in Greece with Olympiakos Volos. It didn't work out for him here, but we wish him well.