This international break has at least generated a lot of rumors about players moving to and from Villarreal. The latest rumor doesn’t involve a player, but a coach—various outlets in Galicia are reporting Villarreal have approached Celta’s manager Eduardo Berizzo to replace Fran Escribá in the summer. This one seems a little questionable—not that we mightn’t approach him, but I doubt we have dangled €2m in front of him the way the article states.
It’s easy to see the attraction for Berizzo—Celta have been net sellers the last couple of years, and he’s supposedly not paid that well—while Villarreal presumably like his Europa League success, and although he has a strong defensive background, his teams do tend to attack a lot. So there may be some truth to the rumor, but it’s premature. I don’t think a decision has been made about Escribá.
Now to some players, and a couple of young central defenders that are apparently interesting us. One is Emmanuel Mammana, 21 yrs old, ex-River Plate, now at Olympique Lyonnais; the other is Davinson Sanchez, a 20 year-old Colombian center back playing for Ajax. Since we are pretty sure we will be losing Mateo Musacchio, I would take either or both!
Sanchez is rated by transfermarkt at €7.5 million, and some of you may recall he was linked with Barcelona last summer before moving to Ajax instead; Mammana is rated slightly lower (€6m) but my guess is it will take more than that to get either player.
By the way, Musacchio has been named to the starting lineup for Argentina’s match against Bolivia, according to various reports today.
Finally, Villarreal is losing Antonio Salamanca, one of our scouts. No idea where he is going, but it hates to lose another of our good network so soon.