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Villarreal News, July 31: Gonzalo Out?

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Gonza never backed out of a tackle. Hear that, JdeGuz?
Gonza never backed out of a tackle. Hear that, JdeGuz?

Villarreal's joint longest-serving player (with Marcos Senna) appears to be headed home. After a decade with the Submarino Amarillo, center back Gonzalo Rodríguez looks to be returning to his Argentine club San Lorenzo de Almagro. Villarreal will receive €450,000 for the transfer and save €1.4 million in salary.

A sad way for a mainstay to leave, as Gonzalo offered to stay, but that's the business. And the club could not afford his salary on the downward slope of his career (at age 28!), particularly in the Segunda. Best of luck, Gonza, and thanks for the memories. There were many, both good and bad. Share yours in the comments.

Speaking of departures, more can be expected in the days to come. Other likely targets are Carlos Marchena and Javier Camuñas, who each earn over €1 million in salary. Cristián Zapata is a high-earner who also may fetch a decent price on the market, but he has participated in the team's friendlies to date. Not so for José Manuel Catalá, whose relatively low salary still fails to put him in Julio Velázquez's plans going forward.

A blast from the past, as Manuel Pellegrini's shadow continues to hang over Villarreal. Not Santi Cazorla this time, but Matías Fernández. The talented and inconsistent Chilean winger is now on the move to Fiorentina, and Villarreal gets a nice €450,000 cut. Thank you, Matigol.

Lastly, the Spanish federation will draw the first two rounds of the 2012-13 Copa del Rey on Friday afternoon. As a Segunda side, Villarreal will enter the competition on September 12 in the second round. Two one-legged matches await to reach the round of 32, when the Primera sides come in. Here's hoping we take the Copa a bit more seriously than in years past, as it offers a slim possibility of European football next season. Endavant!