Players returning from the European U-21 championships—Rodrigo Hernandez and Rúben Semedo—have returned to Villarreal training. The team has now left Vila-real and is based at a golf resort (El Saler) south of Valencia, where they’ll be doing two-a-day sessions for five days, returning for a Saturday AM practice at Villarreal before playing a friendly at Nastic Tarragona.
Rodri has told Radio Vila-real not to worry, he will be a Villarreal player this season, so it sounds as though his contract extension/renegotiation should get resolved shortly. (Our fanbase has been rather more worried than usual about this, but then again it’s been a quiet preseason after our two big signings so we’ve not had a lot to get worried about).
You may be wondering why, if in fact there are teams willing to pay his recission clause, there has been no news of any transfer discussions. Well, it could be that those ‘teams willing to pay’ are unfounded rumors, but this is a good time to review exactly how transfers work. Independent (UK) published a good explanation of this—what negotiations take place in a transfer, how recission clauses work (or don’t), how clubs account for transfers, etc.—although it is necessarily focused on the English market, much of what it says is applicable to Spain of course.
Speaking of loan deals (which the article also explains), Cristian Espinosa has apparently joined Boca Juniors on a year-long loan—it hasn’t yet been confirmed by Villarreal, but Argentine press are reporting it. Apparently there is no purchase option, but there is an opportunity to renew the loan for another six months. Espinosa hardly appeared even in preseason last year for Villarreal; he was loaned to Alaves, where he hardly played, then to Real Valladolid. They seemed to like his performance and expressed interest in taking him on loan again, but evidently Espinosa was pining for home.
Espinosa has a five-year contract with Villarreal; he was a player ex-sporting director Cordon worked hard to sign before departing. There’s no point in selling him right now—we’d take a big hit on the €7m we paid—if he can get playing time at Boca, and can get back in the groove, then maybe in a year’s time we see him back in Vila-real, or we see other teams interested in him. He’s only 22, so maybe some home cooking will do him good.