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Villarreal and Jonathan de Guzmán: The Final Hours

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Where are you, de Guzmán or Verdú?
Where are you, de Guzmán or Verdú?

We're down to the last 24 hours before the summer transfer window closes. And Villarreal still has not replaced playmaker Santi Cazorla. After our performances in Odense and at Camp Nou, you would think something has to give.

Some of our erstwhile targets are now off the market:  Michael Bradley (Chievo), Albert Crusat (Wigan), Fernando Gago (Roma, loan), Diego Lugano (PSG), Bryan Ruiz (Fulham).

Check out our parent site for the latest transfer deadline rumors and news:

http://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2011/8/30/2393372/transfer-deadline-day-2011-news-and-rumors-from-epl-serie-a-la-liga

But all is not lost: Jonathan de Guzmán and Joan Verdú are still out there. Mallorca and Espanyol, respectively, would be scrambling to find a replacement at this stage, but that's not our problem. The Champions League and a top-four finish in La Liga are Villarreal's concerns.

The latest rumors below the fold:

Jonathan de Guzmán (Mallorca): He's leaving for 7.5 million, says one local source (h/t Bill Lumbergh). He won't go for less than 8 million (+2 million to the player), says the island club (h/t Bill Lumbergh). His agent is talking to our favorite source. The player says he wants to leave. Sr. Roig, unsurprisingly, is being coy (more on that article to come).

Joan Verdú (Espanyol): An offer is in for 4.5 million, says a Barcelona-based newspaper. That's reportedly a higher percentage profit than Dani Osvaldo's move to Roma (350%, I believe). The Espanyol brass is meeting to discuss the offer, but another big sale may alienate their fans.

Our Needs: Both an attacking midfielder and a defender. Frankly, our defense might be weaker than our ability to create chances going forward.

So I'm a bit worried that no defenders' names have been bandied about. Hopefully something is in the works. Else we may get hammered by the goalscorers in Group A: Mario Gómez; Sergio Agüero, Edin Dzeko; Edinson Cavani.

It should be an interesting 24 hours. Stay tuned for further updates.