What was more-or-less background noise has become a bit louder today: could Roberto Soldado be on his way out of Villarreal?
AS is reporting that Fenerbahce has approached Villarreal, offering €8m for Soldado’s services. (The first rumors, a couple of weeks ago, suggested they were offering €4m, so it appears there may have been some initial contact between the two clubs). Now, on the one hand, it doesn’t make sense for Villarreal to sell Soldado—he’s an integral part of what attack we’ve had this preseason, and we really missed him the first part of last season when he was injured.
But on the other, you have a player who is 32 years old, his contract expires in June 2018, and he is at the stage of his career where he isn’t going to bring a lot more money than that. So do you pocket the money, or do you gamble he will sign a contract extension before next June? And if he does, you also know that at the end of that contract he’s probably leaving for free, so this is your only chance to make a cash sale.
A lot depends on Soldado’s interest in moving to Turkey. I wouldn’t expect it is that great—he’s being paid well by Villarreal, and he is from Valencia, so he’s enjoying being ‘home’, essentially.
Fenerbahce is likely to make it to the group stage of the Europa League (they face unfancied Macedonian side vardar in the playoff round) so moving for footballing reasons isn’t too likely, as it might be if they had qualified for the Champions League.
Likelihood: Moderate. I’m holding off ordering my second kit shirt with Soldado’s name on it, though. Just in case.