Good morning groguets! This will be short but here's an update on the major Villarreal news threads.
Giuseppe Rossi: It was reported yesterday that Barca had presented a low-ball offer to Villarreal that would be revealed in the papers today, and here it is. EPM has it as €18 million plus €7 million in potential add-ons; Sport reports it as €17 mil plus €10 mil in potential add-ons. Either way, it is not €30 million!
Barca-loving Sport's article strikes a somewhat condescending tone; if it's all you read, you'd feel Srs. Roig and Llaneza were very honored at the approach, there is certainly room for negotiation, etc. etc.
EPM (which given its location is closer to the Villarreal side of things) paints a very different picture. According to it, Villarreal wants €30 million in cash, now. Barca's offer was summarily rejected and no further talks are scheduled.
Given what we know about Sr. Roig, and what has happened in the last few days (nothing) EPM's report strikes me as the more trustworthy of the two.
Congratulations, Sr. Rosell, it looks like you just low-balled yourself out of the Rossi sweepstakes. Though as the paper notes, perhaps other teams will approach Villarreal now that Barca has revealed its hand. One thing Sport says is true, if a deal isn't done by July 10 (when the Submarine begins training again) it's unlikely to happen.
Marcos Senna: the other side of hardball. Yesterday papers were saying it looked like there would be movement, today they say the opposite, and also note the club is making plans if Senna does say adios. The amount of money involved here is just not that large, so I wonder if there is something else we don't know that might be influencing the club to play hardball. Certainly most fans would like to see him come back for one more year, including this one.
Borja Valero: We know Atleti would love to have him, we also know Sr. Roig wants to keep him. At this point it's not clear what Villarreal's price would be, but it's going to be a lot more than Everton is asking for Mikel Arteta, for instance (€10 mil). Atleti will have cash--De Gea, Reyes, probably Kun, Forlan, or both--but even so...
Finally, yet more proof of the incompetence and lack of media savvy of those who run Spanish football. Granted, the Segunda B playoffs are pretty far down the pecking order, so maybe you couldn't get Penelope Cruz to host the draw, but having an official of one of the clubs involved choose the ping-pong balls to set the playoff matchups is just asking for trouble. And so it has proved.
Meanwhile, Granada and Elche drew 0-0 in the first leg of their promotion playoff. Elche had a substitute given a red card for throwing a second ball onto the pitch a la Ander, and their keeper was the star of the show, saving an injury-time penalty not one, but twice. Sadly it was reported Elche's team buses had rocks thrown at them after the match--windows were broken and all the fracas resulted in the team arriving late to the airport and missing their flight home.
Three quick items: referee mistakes ( worth a look, even if it's too EPL-centric and Graham Poll's three yellow cards didn't make it in here), Christian Chivu to Villarreal? and finally a note about the picture. Sid Lowe has been using a Beatles-themed avatar on twitter and asked for suggestions to change it. It wasn't long before someone suggested Herman's Hermits, Villarreal got into the mix, and on the right you see the stylish result, wonderfully photoshopped by the "Beyond the Pitch" folks. My only beef is Santi and Joan should be together (they always are where humor is concerned) but the result is great....!