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Villarreal News, Feb 5: Bacca wants to stay

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Plus, the Spanish taxman wants money from Riquelme.

Real Betis v Villarreal - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Carlos Bacca now has 10 goals in all competitions for Villarreal (seven in La Liga) and he has made it plain that he would like to remain a part of the Yellow Submarine. Villarreal have a €15m option to purchase him, and are hoping to negotiate that down a bit.

Bacca’s production has been quite steady—around a goal every 165/170 below minutes—for the last five years (with his best year in 2014/15 with Sevilla as an outlier). He is a bit below that this year, but if his clanger off the post on Saturday had gone in, he’d be right there.

His parent club, AC Milan, is only eighth in Serie A and are currently outside the European places by three points. And Mateo Musacchio has not been seeing much action of late—coach’s decision, apparently.

Meanwhile, the “Hacienda”—the Spanish tax authority—has continued its long, slow pursuit of footballers who evaded Spanish taxes. And their hammer has now come down on Juan Roman Riquelmé. Actually, this is simply a followup to a ruling in late 2017 where Villarreal was ordered to pay €2.5 million in taxes owed for a variety of transgressions in the 2003-2005 timeframe.

Both Riquelme’s initial loan from Barcelona and his subsequent signing with Villarreal involved channeling moneys through a company in the Netherlands and ultimately to Belize. Apparently this arrangement already existed in Riquelme’s original contract with Barcelona, and Villarreal agreed to continue it (and used the same structure for Diego Forlán as well).

However, what the Hacienda has now determined is in addition to the offshore setup, Riquelme neglected to declare the Barcelona salary he was receiving while on loan at Villarreal. Bottom line, he owes €573,540.

As El Confidential put it, soccer fans may forget their past heroes, but the taxman doesn’t!