Some news today:
Javi Mata reports that Daniele Bonera and Carlos Bacca are ready to return from injury and could be named in the squad to face Real Betis on Sunday.
Sr. Llaneza, longtime member of the Villarreal front office (even before Sr. Roig bought the team), and a HUGE fan (one of my favorite memories is watching him celebrate Villarreal scoring in extra time and winning the U-23 Cup a couple of years back) gave an interview this week where he said, among other things, that he doesn’t believe Pablo Fornals will leave in January (Arsenal’s interest may have cooled since they discovered he’s not available for €20m, anyway) and in fact we shouldn’t expect to see any big moves in this window.
That’s probably true as long as no Chinese clubs are involved (the last three big-money moves that have happened in January—Roger Martinez, Cedric Bakambu, Alexandre Pato—all involved Chinese clubs). The last big move not involving a Chinese team? Gabriel Paulista, sold to.....erm....Arsenal...in 2015.
And he stated pretty strongly that the team and the front office is fully behind Javi Calleja as coach. Which is what we’ve already heard from players such as Manu Trigueros, Miguelon Llambrich, and anyone who has had anything to say on the subject.
Rumors: Oh, these are always fun. We’re supposedly going to try to sign Vicente Iborra in January, with Sevilla wanting him too. He hasn’t been able to break into the starting lineup in Leicester, so they want €15m for him.
That one at least could theoretically make sense if say Fornals did leave, but this next one is a bit odd to me. Sandro Ramirez is currently on loan at Real Sociedad (Everton owns him) and the rumor is La Real want to cancel his loan, and then he would join Villarreal on loan for the second half of the season. (Sociedad would try to get Ayoze Perez from Newcastle to replace Sandro).
I’m sure we asked Everton about Sandro—he was signed by them from Malaga in 2017 for €6m, has a contract to 2021, but has been sent out on loan first to Sevilla and then to La Real. Taking a player on loan is OK (though Premier League wages could be a problem) but we already have three center-forwards. Do we need to add a fourth, struggling one? Doubtful.
And, to those of you celebrating American Thanksgiving today, may you have a wonderful one, wherever you are! I’m thankful for all of you who read this blog and support our efforts. Endavant Villarreal.