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Teams prepare for friendlies knowing no more players will be sold

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Gerard Bordas against Wolfsburg: he's in the call for the Lazio match, too.  Love the hair, as always! (Photo by Ronny Hartmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Gerard Bordas against Wolfsburg: he's in the call for the Lazio match, too. Love the hair, as always! (Photo by Ronny Hartmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Bongarts/Getty Images



   Sr. Roig could not have been more emphatic yesterday.  Faced with rumors that Roma was interested in acquiring Nilmar, the Villarreal president was emphatic: "there will be no more sales". 

    The only exception would be of course if some team was willing to play the release clause and the player was willing to move; but with Borja and Nilmar having €50m release clauses, and Rossi's at €60m, the chances of this happening are remote to say the least!

     Villarreal continue to be in the market for a left back and attacking midfielder, after deciding Real Madrid's conditions for the transfer of Canales were unacceptable (among other things, Villarreal would have had to pay the amortized transfer fee for the period over which he played for us, and couldn't play him against Real Madrid.  The first clause makes no economic sense for Villarreal to accept, the second is simply spiteful).

    Interestingly, as spotted by one of our sharp-eyed readers yesterday, Jordi Pablo, who came up through Villarreal's cantera before being sold to Malaga in 2009, has rejoined the team and has gone straight into the first team for the Ceramica Trophy friendly against Lazio on Sunday.   The team haven't announced any terms, but they did retain a purchase option when they sold him so it could be they've simply exercised that and bought him for a small fee.

     Catalá is still injured, Angel is not recovered either, but Gonzalo will play.  Marcos Gullón is in the side, too, having played pretty well as a center back against Wolfsburg.  We'll have to see if that experiment continues.

    Meanwhile, the B team has a friendly today against Hércules, in a preview of matchday 1 in the Liga Adelante.  The opposition of course is still a financial basket case and has lost many of the players we might remember from last year (Ricky Drenthe, Kiko Femenia, David Trezeguet, even the goalkeeper Calatayud) so I have no idea what to expect.  Speaking of which, is Trezeguet still looking for a club?

  An interesting tidbit: Arsenal take on Boca Juniors today in a friendly, and Riquelme will be in the lineup.  First time against Arsenal since THAT penalty miss.

   Finally: I try to stay out of politics and so forth on this site, but what sort of idiotic country are we living in when we can't let our citizens enjoy a victory peacefully (perhaps because it wasn't "ours"?)  Watch this video of what happened outside a Uruguayan bakery in New York after the Copa America.  We can't have people celebrating in the street and having a good time!  It's a riot!  Break it up!  (h/t to Akiko on Twitter)

   And as for FC Barcelona: yes, you can meet President Obama and Bill Gates, but when it comes to a kickabout on the National Mall, uh-uh.  "Where's your permit?"  "Who's in charge of this group?"  (don't you wish it had been Real Madrid trying to answer that question...)! 

    Maybe some common sense would help?  That seems to be in short supply these days.  Ah well, at any rate enjoy your day--our podcast will be available later today, incidentally--and (of course) ENDAVANT VILLARREAL!