No matter how often you say “el planter està tancat” (I hope that’s the correct Valencian for what often gets translated as “the template is closed”) you never really know until the transfer window ends.
Villarreal added Pablo Fornals to our roster in an €11m swoop from Malaga, and now we’ve gotten a bit of that money back by selling Jonathan dos Santos to the LA Galaxy of MLS. Word is we will be paid $5 million, which is about €4.3m; the official press release from the Galaxy doesn’t say.
That’s not a lot, but as in the case of Gerard Moreno, who desperately wanted to move to Espanyol, Villarreal has had to take an under-market fee up front. We kept 50% of Gerard’s rights and have rebuffed Espanyol’s offers to buy the rest; in Jona’s case we haven’t done that, but it could be we have a sell-on clause or something like that—no way to know.
This move has been mooted for some time—Jona wanted to play with his brother Gio again—but with his Spanish girlfriend now working in Los Angeles, and the Galaxy seeing the opportunity to market themselves to a large Spanish-speaking market in southern California, the deal took on new momentum this summer.
Mexican clubs were interested in Jona too—reports today are that Club America offered Villarreal $7m, and Jona more salary than LA—but to no avail.
Jona joined us in the summer of 2014 for €1.5m or €2m, depending on your source. Over the three years, he made 126 appearances (all competitions) with seven goals (4 in La Liga, 1 in Copa, 2 in Europa League). He had 6 assists for us last season (4 in La Liga, 2 EL). His defensive contributions, free kicks and corner kicks, and crossing skills were all on display—and he did all this playing out of position on the right wing. He’s a natural central midfielder, not a winger!
This move hasn’t been totally embraced in LA, mostly because the Dos Santos family now occupies two of the Galaxy’s three “designated player” positions. However, there is a realization that they are picking up a player in his prime (age 27) who ought to be able to add some real spark and quality to their midfield.
VillarrealUSA thanks Jonathan for all his contributions and wishes him all the best in Los Angeles. We are sad to see him go.