Diego Godin announced he is leaving Atletico Madrid at the end of this season. The 33 year-old was signed from Villarreal in 2010 for €8m; Villarreal retained 50% of his economic rights at that time. Word is he’s moving to Inter Milan; Villarreal will get 50% of....nothing, as his contract with Atleti is up so he’s leaving on a free. Those of you with long memories will remember Villarreal sold him after an infamous party prior to the team’s last match of the 2009-10 season against Zaragoza; Godin evidently harbored a lot of resentment about that, which spilled over after Atleti’s victory in the last match of 2012 which relegated us; he and Sr. Llaneza got into quite a shouting match.
The sad reality is Godin, at age 33, is still better than most of our current crop of centerbacks, and he could play in La Liga for awhile yet. But he heads to Italy.
Meanwhile, the rumors continue as regards Villarreal players. Real Betis have been linked with Gerard Moreno (I would not read too much into this, since Quique Setien’s job isn’t exactly secure).
The more persistent rumors involve Pablo Fornals heading to an EPL side, maybe West Ham, Tottenham or Arsenal. Fornals himself has said he doesn’t want to discuss rumors until the season has ended and would just like to concentrate on this season. Fair enough. The expectation is that one of these teams will indeed come in with an offer that is enough for Villarreal to accept.
Samu Chukwueze is in the news for a couple of reasons. First is that Nigeria would like him to play as part of their team in the under-20 World Cup, but they might also want to select him for their African Cup of Nations team. Villarreal have said he can’t play in both, though. The U-20 tourney takes place in Poland in late May-early June, ending June 15; the African Cup of Nations starts in Egypt June 21 and runs through July 19.
I suspect Villarreal would be happier if he played in the youth tourney, as then he’d be able to join up for training. Of course, there are also lots of transfer rumors involving Samu. His release clause has been described as at least €60m but that does not seem to be putting off EPL sides like Man City and Liverpool, at least if you believe the English sports tabloids....
And, Villarreal is planning all sorts of activities around Sunday’s Eibar match. “Es El Momento” activities will begin a couple of hours before the game. It should be dry and pleasant for the match. Endavant.