After the mind-numbing death of Manolo Preciado, Villarreal must regretfully return to the business of finding a new coach, as well as remaking its roster. Appreciations and remembrances of our coach-to-be continue to pour in; lat night there were ceremonies in Levante, Vila-real, Santander and Gijon to mark his passing.
Sr. Roig had developed a shortlist of candidates, reported in EPM a few days ago, so presumably the other three on this list are the frontrunners for the job now:
Of course, the situation is complicated by the fact that Sr. Velasquez has been contacted by Elche about their coaching job; no word on how far that's gone or whether he is still interested in the Villarreal job (today was supposed to be the day he took his leave of the club, just as today was supposed to have been the day Preciado was introduced as the new coach):
Now, let's move on to player rumors:
Sr. Llaneza was in Italy, believed to be negotiating a possible sale of Zapata, but Zapata's agent has been quoted on twitter as saying nothing will be decided until August. Hmmm. It also appears that the relationship between Malaga and Villarreal has not been repaired, as it's believed Borja Valero's transfer to that club is not forthcoming. More details if/when we get them.
Whether due to the economic situation in Spain, or something else (bitterness at clubs that are less fiscally responsible prospering at our expense?) Sr. Roig seems less willing to sell players within Spain. For example, Cani is interested in returning to Real Zaragoza, but Villarreal seem more interested in him ending up in Germany:
German clubs have also been linked with Jonathan de Guzmán:
Bruges has interest in Carlos Marchena, too:
And Sr. Pastorello has been talking to Radio Kiss Kiss again, saying Rossi could still be interesting to clubs though he is injured: Home | Latest Headlines | Agent: Rossi still of interest to clubs | ESPNSTAR.com
One that's just come over the news this morning is that Celta Vigo have an interest in Diego Mariño (who, since the club has just featured him in a new video promoting our season ticket campaign, I doubt is leaving Villarreal):
Don't get excited, but Riquelme has been quoted again as saying he would come back to help us. As someone said, now all we need is Robert Pires and Diego Forlan and we'll be set....!
And not surprisingly, Getafe's Pedro Rios, who we would have signed had we remained in the Primera, is not going to join us in the Primera, but looks likely to join Zaragoza. Good luck with that.
Finally, a few economic tidbits. "The crisis" has cut into the value of the "brands" of Real Madrid and Barcelona, and other La Liga teams as well: La crisis desinfla el valor de Madrid y Barça y deja a la Liga BBVA como la tercera del mundo – Economía, negocios y finanzas – Noticias, última hora, vídeos y fotos de Economía, negocios y finanzas en lainformacion.com
The third team by "brand value", a longgggg way back from the front two, is Valencia. It appears as though the deal with Bankia to allow them to finish the Nou Mestalla is in a holding pattern (rumor has it Spain is going to try to negotiate a big bank bailout this weekend, incidentally):
And finally, news of our last coach of last season, who is claiming Deportivo still owe him a bunch of money under his old contract. It really would be stranger than fiction if somehow this ended up preventing Depor from being promoted and Villarreal were reinstated in the Primera, wouldn't it. Won't happen, but still...
Meanwhile, the Eurocopa starts today with Poland-Greece and Russia-Czech Republic (on ESPN in the US starting at noon EDT), and the CONCACAF World Cup qualifications begin with (among other matches) the United States playing Antigua AND Barbuda. Somehow I don't think that should be much of a challenge.