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Villarreal news roundup, July 4

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News and rumors of players present and past.

Sergio and Santi, chillin’
Sergio Asenjo twitter

Lots of rumors out there this morning that Boca Juniors are interested in taking Cristian Espinosa on loan next season. However, Espinosa’s agent said there have been no contacts. Real Valladolid want him back on loan again, and if they can’t get him back, they’d like Leo Suarez.

Alfonso Pedraza is apparently going to be loaned out to Alavés—a one year loan with no purchase option. This seems an odd decision to me given the same team hardly gave Espinosa any playing time, but I can certainly see the desire to keep him in Spain and given him minutes in the Primera, which he wouldn’t be too likely to get with Villarreal given our large number of forwards/wingers.

Bruno Soriano’s operation apparently went well (of course, they always say that, don’t they?); he tweeted a photo from the Murcia clinic where he was operated on. Realistically, he won’t be in game shape until October, probably, but at least the international breaks mean we won’t miss him for as many matches as we might otherwise. We’ll have to see when the schedule comes out.

And news of former players: Florian Lejeune has moved from Eibar to Newcastle; the Basque club bought him for €1.5m and sold him for €10m, awfully good business. Lejeune’s career at Villarreal was something of an enigma; for whatever reason, he didn’t impress then-coach Garrido or any of those that followed him, and we didn’t find playing time for him even when we were in the Segunda. Still only 26, he’s been something of a late bloomer.

And word is that Cani is about to pull the plug on his professional career, announcing his retirement from Zaragoza today. Ruben Gracia Calmache “Cani” was signed by Villarreal from Real Zaragoza for €11m back in 2006 and remained Villarreal property until 2015, when he left for Depor on a free. The attacking midfielder was an important part of some fine Villarreal sides, including our 2011 Europa league semifinal side, even though he never quite ‘made it’ in the way we hoped when we shelled out that money for him years ago. Let’s not forget though, he made that pass to Jony Pereira for the goal against Almeria that definitely promoted us from the Segunda. After we returned to the Primera he wasn’t as important, and a falling out with Marcelino led to him sitting the bench before being loaned out to Atleti and then transferred away. He’s now 35 years old.

Finally, Sergio Asenjo just happened to run into Santi Cazorla on vacation. Santi is, of course, theoretically available, as his Arsenal contract expired June 30. Now let’s not start any conspiracy theories.....