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Levante-Villarreal gamethread, and transfer updates

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Remember this was supposed to be at El Madrigal but got switched because of the pitch construction. About 1000 Villarreal fans got free tickets to the froggies' ground and will be there to cheer on the Submarine.

Some Villarreal fans heading to the Ciutat de Valencia for the match
Some Villarreal fans heading to the Ciutat de Valencia for the match
Jose Pascual Trilles on twitter

So, 2 1/2 weeks to go until the regular season, and we still have a few players to move and holes to fill.  Javi Mata spent a good deal of time today basically telling Villarreal fans to chill; unlike many Spanish clubs who have to change a lot of their club every year and just have to take who is available and willing to come (like our opponents today), we have specific needs and are working towards specific solutions.  (He did confirm we tried for Jonathas, but he was not interested in coming here, for whatever reason).

There is no new news of Gerard Moreno, except that the Hector Moreno swap is unlikely since multiple sites have him going to PSV Eindhoven.   Whether that is a necessary move to free up cash for Espanyol to purchase Gerard, we don't know, but that would certainly be one interpretation.  If a swap was proposed to us, we evidently weren't interested.

It's also unlikely, given we signed Victor Ruiz and Musacchio will be back from injury in a couple of months, that the interest in River Plate's Funes Mori is that significant.  Javi Mata has been pouring cold water on that the last couple of days, and now that River have won the Copa Libertadores and get to play in the world club championship, I doubt they will want to weaken their team right now.  Besides, River and Villarreal have not got on well.   We are still looking for a "central", but to be honest our back line has looked good so far, and I doubt we want to throw tons of money at someone who is likely to become a fourth choice once Musacchio returns.

As for Soldado and Bukambu, negotiations are still ongoing with Bursaspor apparently and everyone seems to think they will be successfully concluded, though no one is saying much.  Soldado, as detailed yesterday, is more complicated because Villarreal really don't want to pay Spurs asking price, but they do want the player and he wants to come here.  The remaining question I suppose is Cheryshev, and who knows what will happen there.

SO, to today's match.....if you're a Levante fan, the whole transfer window thing must be sort of like being a dishwasher in the kitchen of a fancy restaurant, watching everyone consume lots of expensive food and wine, knowing you might get to swig the last glass from a partly-drunk bottle while you're cleaning up the plates--if you're lucky.

Levante have brought in exactly nothing in income this transfer window, but they haven't spent anything either.  David Barral completed his contract and left, Ivan Ramis went to Eibar on a free, and Andreas Ivanschitz is now a Seattle Sounder, while Kalu Uche is now looking for a club.  As for transfers in, you should know Verza (ex-Almeria midfielder) and maybe Roger Marti (Valladolid attacking midfielder), and Nabil Ghilas.  The Algerian striker scored seven goals for Cordoba last year on loan from Porto; now they've sent him here.

Levante's preseason hasn't been too dramatic; they had a little minitour of the Netherlands and Germany, winning and drawing against Dutch opposition and losing to Bayer Leverkusen 4-0.  They open up at home against Celta on the 23rd and would probably be quite happy to just finish midtable and book a place in the Primera for a seventh consecutive year.

It does not appear that there will be any TV today, so if your Valencian or Spanish is up to it, follow along with Javi Mata on Radio Vila-real--there might also be a minute-by-minute description on Marca, I don't know.