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Capdevila bids farewell, otherwise it's quiet in Vila-Real

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Capdevila in last year's World Cup  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Capdevila in last year's World Cup (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
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    Joan Capdevila stopped by the Ciudad Deportiva to bid farewell to everyone before heading to Benfica.

     In his remarks to the press, Joan thanked everyone at the club, especially the Roig family, and said his departure was strictly a sporting decision--he did not feel he would get much playing time and it was best for everyone for him to move on.   Villarreal let him go on a free transfer but saves €2.7 million in salary by eliminating his salary, according to EPM.

    Joan's signing to a two-year contract at Benfica was rushed through so that Joan can be eligible to play for the Eagles in their Champions League qualifier later this month.

     Joan leaves Villarreal having played 170 matches since his acquisition from Deportivo in 2007.  And of course he will always be remembered fondly in Villarreal as "our world champion".  His self-deprecating humor, goofy demeanor (who can ever forget him dancing around, giving interviews while celebrating the World Cup win while wearing a beer bucket on his head!) and his steady presence on the left of defense will be missed.

     His departure leaves the club with just two left backs, José Manuel Catalá and Joan Oriol, though Cristian Zapata is capable of playing over there.  EPM reports Villarreal is still chasing Canella, though having already sold José Angel Sporting Gijon is less likely to let him go.

     It was widely reported yesterday that Málaga's representative met with Fernando Roig Negueroles to present an offer for Santi Cazorla, but the offer was refused. Arsenal supposedly sent a fax to Villarreal saying they would like to talk about acquiring Santi, but at this point there's nothing to even speculate about.

     Diego López has confirmed he will continue to play for Villarreal; Atlético Madrid were supposedly interested in him.

      Italian media suggested yesterday Mr. Pastorello was going to meet to try to finalize a Rossi move to Juventus, but this seems to be without foundation.   Rossi doesn't seem interested, and with Sr. Roig still in China I don't think much is going to happen today either. 

     Although the national media continue to portray Villarreal as a team that needs to sell players for big money, the club said going into the summer season the budget would expand a bit and no major sales needed to take place.    

     Assuming there are no big-money transfers out, it appears Villarreal will have largely succeeded in their goals for the offseason--they have acquired César and Camuñas and picked up a versatile central defender in Zapata; it's only a left back they're still seeking.

   The club has sent out Montero (Betis) and Juan Carlos (Elche) on loan, have sold Matilla (Betis),  Altidore (AZ) and Capdevila (Benfica).  Joan Oriol and Kiko Olivas are still available, I suppose.   I make the net transfer spend about €6 million, but the club has saved on salary for sure.   So maybe there will be one more signing to come.

   And a belated congratulations to Hernán Pérez, as Paraguay's amazing run in the Copa America continues.  They eliminated Venezuela on penalties after a 0-0 draw to advance to the final on Sunday.