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Latest Villarreal ins and outs

Trying to keep track of the activity is exhausting....!

Maria José Segovia

With the imminent arrival of Santiago Cáceres (Velez have said the transfer is official pending the player’s medical, and he’s on his way here to take care of that) and the possible arrival—before going out on loan—of keeper Andrade, here is a look at the money ins and outs since December:


Gerard, Ekambi, Roger Martinez, Funes Mori, Layun, Caceres, Andrade, Santi Cazorla (free), Pedraza (loan returnee), Javi Fuego

total spend roughly €82m


Rodri, Roger Martinez, Rukavina (free), Bakambu

total roughly €68m (does not include €5m variables for Rodri, etc.)

Not included in this is whatever fee we got for taking on King Salem, so figure overall we’ve spent €10-12m more than we’ve brought in?


Bacca (€8m offered)

probably another midfielder or centerback (I’ll assume €10m)


Semedo—probably goes on loan within Spain for this year.

His court case will be resolved during the season; if he’s found guilty then we rescind his contract and are out €14m, but if he’s found innocent then next summer we can decide whether to keep him or sell him (he would have some value then, while right now he does not). Since he’s spent all of last season either injured or in jail, not sure he’ll be in Primera shape right now, but maybe a newly promoted club like Huesca could use him.

N’Diaye—we bought him for €8m. If we could sell him for €6-8m we’d be happy, I think. He’s played in France, Turkey and England, but no one in England has really wanted to take him on. Doubtful we want to sell him to a rival in Spain, so I’m thinking a French club may take him. He still has three years on his contract, but I’m sure we don’t want another loan unless there is a compulsory purchase option attached.

Roberto Soriano—we bought him for €13.5m; that seemed value for money in the 2016-17 season under Escribá but his market value fell off a cliff last season (and is probably artificially low right now). He was linked with Inter Milan and Napoli in the past; seems as though a Serie A club is in his future. Whether we loan him for a season, hoping he gets his groove back, or sell him outright, is an open question.

Nicola Sansone—the third player we signed in summer 2016 to a five-year deal and are now looking to move, he’s another player who has lots of Serie A connections. Roma, Inter....maybe Parma, newly promoted back to Serie A, would be interested, since he played there before? That would probably have to be a loan, though, and I’m not sure I see that.

Victor Ruiz—we either need to extend his contract, or move him. Maybe to a Bundesliga team for €10m or so?

Those are the players where we control the decision a bit more, inasmuch as we don’t appear to have spots for them on the roster, or need to resolve their situation this summer. Some combination of the bottom four could bring in €30m for sure, so then we’d have spent about €100m and sold €100m.


Who could we get bids for? Denis Cheryshev, certainly, after his excellent World Cup. Samu Castillejo’s name keeps getting tossed out there, just as it was last summer, and his value has certainly risen over the last year. Keep in mind Casti’s contract expires in 2020, a year earlier than Chery’s, and he’s only 23 compared to Chery’s 27. I would not be surprised therefore if we are already talking to him about an extension.

There is always the chance for a bolt from the blue—Fornals, Trigueros, Asenjo, etc. but those types of offers, by their nature, can’t be predicted.

One name that has come up recently is Enes Ünal, which is an interesting one. Apparently there are a couple of Turkish clubs who are theoretically interested. We signed him for €14m from Man City; they retain a purchase option (I believe it’s gone up to €25m or so) but they have a problem—Ünal isn’t likely to be able to get a work permit to play in the EPL until he gets selected, and plays, a lot more for his national team.

So, what that means is if (and I think it’s very unlikely) we were to sell him, that purchase option would have to remain in the deal, and so we wouldn’t be likely to agree to a sale unless we could get a significant chunk of those future proceeds. More likely we would send him on loan. We did do that last season but it was an emergency loan to Levante and he came back after two months.