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Practices start today for Villarreal

Apart from Gio and Aquino, who are allowed a bit of extra time after the World Cup, everyone else shows up today for the first practice of the preseason. Jonathan de Guzmán is presumably going to be sold, but we await any other news.

David Ramos

It's going to be a bit crowded on the training ground tomorrow, as Villarreal begins its practices with 30 players.  Actually, we're beginning at the Virgen de Gracia Hermitage--didn't we do that last season as well?  Marcelino will add a gym session to the two practices starting in Wednesday.

The preseason matches appear to be set:  Reus (a local team, July 26), Middlesborough (August 2), Swansea (August 9), and the Ceramica Trophy match against Sassuolo (August 14).

The squad is of course not set in stone.  Now that the World Cup is over, Jonathan de Guzmán's future needs to be resolved.  It's likely he will stay at Swansea, but they need to stump up the money.  Apparently Olympique Lyonnais is interested in him as well.

We are still trying to work out a loan move for Alexsandar Pantic, and perhaps Jony Pereira as well.  Word is Rayo would like to take Javier Aquino on loan but I am not sure how we feel about that.  (They would also like Manu Trigueros, apparently.  Hey, if you don't ask...)

At the moment we have added Rukavina, J. dos Santos, Espinosa and Cheryshev from last season, we've lost Perbet, Joan Roman and Oliver.  In addition, Hernán Perez (injured) is back on our list, and so too is Gerard Moreno, who is back from his loan spell at Mallorca.  I suspect the 30 number includes a few B-teamers, but even so, we clearly have some bodies to move yet.

Speaking of the B team, they began practices today under the watchful eye of Paco Jemez, who coached the C team last season.  Jonathan Espericueta is back from Mexico and will be counted on for big things.  Fran Garcia is apparently  being loaned to Albacete (newly promoted to the Segunda).

Another newly promoted club in the news--Eibar--congratulations to them, as they appear to have raised the over €1.7 million capital needed to meet the requirements to play in the Primera.  (Actually their website still shows them €3000 short, but with nine days left, I think they'll make it!!).   They are apparently going to play their home matches at their little Ipurua ground which seats only 5250.

Other news:  Remember Iago Aspas, who allegedly turned Villarreal down awhile back, then went to Liverpool and did nothing?  he's being loaned to Sevilla, with a €6m purchase option apparently.

Fede Cartabia, who impressed for Valencia last season, is being loaned to Cordoba; Jeremy Mathieu either missed training because he's going to be sold to Barcelona for €15-20m, or because he has a muscle injury--you decide.  Our loan target Morata is apparently going to be sold to Juve instead (but with a buyback clause for Madrid).  Oh, and there was a brief flurry of excitement when Georgios Samaras's Wikipedia page was altered to show he was with Villarreal--but since it later showed he'd been signed by Castellón, well....:)